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Armor/AFV: Modern - USA
Modern Armor, AFVs, and Support vehicles.
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M48A5 Question
27-1025
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 10:24 AM UTC
Curious to know what color schemes the M48A5 might have had while in National Guard Service? I like to do one from 1/252 AR if I confirm they were issued those at some point.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 10:41 AM UTC
They were mainly in MERDC and NATO camo, depending on when they were in service.
warhog
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 11:27 AM UTC
5
I was with 2/252 we were the first NG unit equipped with M-1's. prior to that they did have M48A5s Jay White has shared some pics in the past will see if I can locate them or get him to post them again.
m75
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 12:55 PM UTC
I saw plenty in both the MERDC Verdant Green and Gray Desert schemes, especially here in California.
27-1025
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 02:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

5
I was with 2/252 we were the first NG unit equipped with M-1's. prior to that they did have M48A5s Jay White has shared some pics in the past will see if I can locate them or get him to post them again.



Pics would be great.
TopSmith
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 02:18 PM UTC
Here are some pictures. Scroll down on each for additional pictures

https://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=62234

https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6056/6219965939_65ee07323a_b.jpg

http://rooms.spsteroid.com/m48a5-tank/17-best-images-about-military-photos-gallery-references

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/m48a5-photos-ft-drum-ny-t127338.html
27-1025
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 04:41 PM UTC



Good pics. The desert MERDC is pretty appealing.
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 06:25 PM UTC
A Google search for MERDC Camouflage M48 will give you multi-view patterns for several schemes. MERDC, introduced in 1974 to replace Olive Drab, used four colors at a time, but there were 12 colors to choose from. It turned out to be too much of a good thing. Repainting a whole battalion every time the seasons changed, or the unit moved a few hundred miles, was a huge hassle. By the 1980's, many units left their equipment in overall FS-34079 Forest Green, the factory base color.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 09:28 PM UTC
MERDC but that doesn't mean the colors matched the manual, or that the scheme was properly maintained.

The one M48A5 on display at Fort Drum is possibly bleached out dark green and field drab from sitting in the sun for thirty years, not light green and tan. I remember when it was freshly painted. Even then it looked like it had gotten the Air Force SEA camouflage colors rather than the MERDC colors. Not impossible as the Air Guard was right there. Tanks at Camp Drum were not in the green and field drab of fall verdant. (wasn't Fort Drum until 1988, the last year the M48A5 was used by National Guard units)

Grey desert could have colors substituted or deleted as service continued. It was not unknown for replacement parts to be in completely different colors. A cupola still in red primer (or earth red?) Fenders in light green on a grey desert tank?

NJNG vehicles were supposed to be summer verdant (forest or dark green and light green) but the tanks up at Fort Drum were originally from California and Texas so were usually grey desert(sand and earth yellow as opposed to sand and field drab)

But the colors in the supply chain were for summer verdant-- so there would be patches of light green and forest green or even (!) Olive drab.

Search lights were often maintained by the individual units and often dated from when the unit had M48A1s. They sometimes remained in olive drab.

Real tank in 1988: sand and earth yellow camouflage, light green front and rear fenders, olive drab searchlight and air cleaners, red oxide primer or earth red cupola. And then there was that sprayed outline of red on the back deck where someone had spray painted an ammo can.


Ten years later the nice neat Anniston refurbished M1 in three color Carc-- well after two years the Carc paints had worn off the sand underneath and they looked all tiger striped and kewl desert camo dude--
GregCopplin
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 12:18 AM UTC
Wasn’t there a west coast M48A5 variant and an east coast variant. The main difference being the cupola from the M48 was still mounted on it and could rotate on the west coast natty guard versions while the east coast had there’s removed?
m75
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 03:27 AM UTC
California units had what appeared to be the same style commander cupola that was used by the IDF. Allowed for a lower silhouette compared to the M-1 unit.

What I really appreciated was the use of M-60D machine guns for both commander and loader positions.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 03:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Wasn’t there a west coast M48A5 variant and an east coast variant. The main difference being the cupola from the M48 was still mounted on it and could rotate on the west coast natty guard versions while the east coast had there’s removed?



Early production versus late production. The first M48A5 retained the M48A3 cupola with vision riser and many came from returning M48A3 from Vietnam. The west coast units transitioned first so they mostly received them. The 50th Armored division went from M48A1 to M48A3 to M60 back to M48A1 then to M48A5 1972-1978.

I earlier posted that the Fort Drum NY tanks came from California and Texas. So the east coast got their tanks from the West Coast as some units were given M60 as they were retired from the regular army.

The National Guard indeed many units in the CONUS were stripped of armor to replace Israeli losses in 1973. Hence the brief lifespan of the M60 in NJ, the reversion to M48A1 and then M48A5.

As the program continued they went to M48A1 and M48 (even the mild steel early production run) for conversion to M48A5 and adapted the urdan cupola due to Israeli experience.

There were some in the motor pool at Camp Drum but they weren't usually issued. Mess up the firing tables to have a handful of tanks with .50 cal and the rest with M60D machine guns.
Sabot
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 03:49 AM UTC
The 50th Armor Division was using M48A5s as late as 1986-87, and I think even until as late as 1990.

The main user of the M48A5 in the active army was the two tank battalions of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. When they transitioned to the M60A3TTS, the took the loader's M60D and pintle mounts from the M48A5s and added them to the loader's position on the M60A3TTS.

As far as painting MERDC schemes, during my time on M60A3TTS tanks (87-89), we painted the tanks annually, but used a sort of modified MERDC in Germany. We didn't add the sand squiggles and the black "seagull" looking parts were expanded to be a third main color. Almost a precursor to NATO 3-color scheme.

We didn't paint to match the season. We painted with the colors we had; mainly forest green, field brown earth color and flat black.

No two tanks looked alike and the quality of the paint job depended on how much the crew cared about how pretty their tank looked.

This is a former VTARNG tank that was on display at Knox.


This is a tank I commanded at Drum way back in 1985, not a good shot for a scheme though.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 04:43 AM UTC
Fiftieth armored division's last camp with M48A5 was 1988. I was there.

January 1989 we transitioned to M60A3TTS in Camp Shelby Mississippi. The M48A5 at the armory was last used for a Memorial Day parade. It was repainted in MERDC using the NATO colors. One of the armory tanks had scars and patches from its Vietnam service, the other was from the first 100 or so M48 that had non-ballistic steel. It was marked next to the casting Mark's. "Not for combat use. Non-ballistic steel."

We were already training on the M60A3 at Fort Indian Town Gap after our return from Mississippi.

With the M60A3 at the armory we also received the manuals for the installation of the applique armor.
SWATdoc
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 04:29 PM UTC
Jim,
We used to interact with the 40th Division a bit back in 80-81. Although I can not account for every west coast M48A5, the M48A5's that I saw at that time had the M1 cupola and most of those had the G305 riser and the bulge in commander's hatch. It was my understanding that the lower profile cupola and the M60D were primarily and east coast modification.

Respectfully,

Allen
Sabot
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Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 04:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Fiftieth armored division's last camp with M48A5 was 1988. I was there.

January 1989 we transitioned to M60A3TTS in Camp Shelby Mississippi. The M48A5 at the armory was last used for a Memorial Day parade. It was repainted in MERDC using the NATO colors. One of the armory tanks had scars and patches from its Vietnam service, the other was from the first 100 or so M48 that had non-ballistic steel. It was marked next to the casting Mark's. "Not for combat use. Non-ballistic steel."

We were already training on the M60A3 at Fort Indian Town Gap after our return from Mississippi.

With the M60A3 at the armory we also received the manuals for the installation of the applique armor.


By 1986, the Vermont Army National Guard's 86th Brigade was no longer a part of the 50th Armor Division. It became part of the 26th Infantry Division.