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M60A3 paint color in early 1980s
GregCopplin
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 05:27 PM UTC
Currently building an M60A3 for my father who was a tanker stationed in Germany in the early 80s. The picture he showed me is of an M60a3 in a green paint scheme but I’m not positive if it is olive drab or a NATO Green. Does anyone know forsure what they would have been painted around that time frame ?
GeraldOwens
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 05:42 PM UTC
FS34079 Forest Green, which replaced Olive Drab in 1974. It was the factory base color for the then-current MERDC camouflage schemes, but the four-color patterns were time consuming to apply, and most units had stopped applying the other three colors by the early '80's. The system had twelve colors to choose from, covering a multitude of environments, though each scheme used just four at a time. Later in the decade, the three color NATO scheme replaced it.

FS34079 is available from Testors Model Master as a USAF color. You might want to lighten it a bit for scale effect.
GregCopplin
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 07:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

FS34079 Forest Green, which replaced Olive Drab in 1974. It was the factory base color for the then-current MERDC camouflage schemes, but the four-color patterns were time consuming to apply, and most units had stopped applying the other three colors by the early '80's. The system had twelve colors to choose from, covering a multitude of environments, though each scheme used just four at a time. Later in the decade, the three color NATO scheme replaced it.

FS34079 is available from Testors Model Master as a USAF color. You might want to lighten it a bit for scale effect.



Thank you, would there be a ammo Mig or Vallejo equivalent to this color?
Tank1812
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 08:38 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

FS34079 Forest Green, which replaced Olive Drab in 1974. It was the factory base color for the then-current MERDC camouflage schemes, but the four-color patterns were time consuming to apply, and most units had stopped applying the other three colors by the early '80's. The system had twelve colors to choose from, covering a multitude of environments, though each scheme used just four at a time. Later in the decade, the three color NATO scheme replaced it.

FS34079 is available from Testors Model Master as a USAF color. You might want to lighten it a bit for scale effect.



Thank you, would there be a ammo Mig or Vallejo equivalent to this color?



I get Model Air 71.294 US Forest Green as a very close match to 34079, same with A.Mig 206 Dark Green using a paint app.
varanusk
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 11:43 PM UTC
There is a Vallejo set for MERDC:
https://acrylicosvallejo.com/en/producto/hobby/sets/afv/merdc-camo-colors-71202-es/

According to it, their Forest Green is 71294, as mentioned above
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 01:19 AM UTC
Greg,
What unit was your father in?
I was in 1AD at that time and was also a Tanker.
Dan
Headhunter506
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 01:43 AM UTC
1/13 Armor in Illeshem by any chance?
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 03:28 AM UTC
I was the M60A3 deputy transition officer for the 2/11 ACR in 1980. It fell to me to order the MERDC repaint colors for the Squadron in early 1980. The vehicles came from the CONUS depot in the forest green color mentioned above, which is a what I'd say is a mid shade green color, similar to NATO green, perhaps a little lighter. However, these vehicles we transitioned into were soon painted in MERDC colors, I'd say within 2-3 months of returning to garrison after receipt of the vehicles and transitioning through Grafenwohr for tank gunnery, immediately after receipt. So, depending on when and where your father was, it might make a difference in the scheme. Not all units followed the same process-- some repainted right away, others later. Generally, the green color formed the basic camo, and was repainted with brown, tan and black for the MERDC colors. Later, in 1987-88, I was assigned to Korea, and the M60s were being repainted in CARC paint, so the shades were just slightly different. I'm not sure if CARC was employed yet in Europe by 1988. You should ask your Dad if his tank remained in the basic green color or was repainted at some point-- since most of the initial issues came in the basic green from the depot. Also, for REFORGER units, many of those vehicles remained in the basic green, and replacement vehicles would likely remain in the basic green for a while until the unit repainted.
VR, Russ
GregCopplin
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 03:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Greg,
What unit was your father in?
I was in 1AD at that time and was also a Tanker.
Dan



He was stationed in Bad Hersfeld Germany, he has a plaque hanging up in the garage with a dragon and it says something like 35th fire brigade or armored. His tank was called “storm bringer”
GregCopplin
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 03:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I was the M60A3 deputy transition officer for the 2/11 ACR in 1980. It fell to me to order the MERDC repaint colors for the Squadron in early 1980. The vehicles came from the CONUS depot in the forest green color mentioned above, which is a what I'd say is a mid shade green color, similar to NATO green, perhaps a little lighter. However, these vehicles we transitioned into were soon painted in MERDC colors, I'd say within 2-3 months of returning to garrison after receipt of the vehicles and transitioning through Grafenwohr for tank gunnery, immediately after receipt. So, depending on when and where your father was, it might make a difference in the scheme. Not all units followed the same process-- some repainted right away, others later. Generally, the green color formed the basic camo, and was repainted with brown, tan and black for the MERDC colors. Later, in 1987-88, I was assigned to Korea, and the M60s were being repainted in CARC paint, so the shades were just slightly different. I'm not sure if CARC was employed yet in Europe by 1988. You should ask your Dad if his tank remained in the basic green color or was repainted at some point-- since most of the initial issues came in the basic green from the depot. Also, for REFORGER units, many of those vehicles remained in the basic green, and replacement vehicles would likely remain in the basic green for a while until the unit repainted.
VR, Russ



He showed me a picture of it in a basic green pattern but said at times he had a tank that was camouflaged as you mentioned. I wanna say that the camoed up one was for when he was transitioning to stateside but i could be wrong. I just shot him a text to see what unit he was in.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 04:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Greg,
What unit was your father in?
I was in 1AD at that time and was also a Tanker.
Dan



He was stationed in Bad Hersfeld Germany, he has a plaque hanging up in the garage with a dragon and it says something like 35th fire brigade or armored. His tank was called “storm bringer”



Bad Hersfeld was primarily the headquarters of 3/11 Armored Cavalry. I was in 2/11 Armored Cavalry at Bad Kissingen, about 60 KM south, but we were all part of the 11th ACR. But, frequently one squadron would repaint at different times than another. Eventually, most units would be in a uniform scheme, but there were exceptions. For instance, each Squadron had a "float" tank-- a tank that was maintained by the local ordnance unit as a backfill to replace a tank that was taken off the line for long term repair. That tank was generally new and not painted. And periodically, tanks would be replaced from depot stocks individually as they wore out or became overmileage, those new tanks were also not painted. So you could find a mixture of solid green and camouflaged tanks within in the same unit. If your Dad was in the 11th ACR in 1980, all the M60A3s were initially received in depot paint brand new. Perhaps that's where the photo is from (transitioning from a Sheridan to an A3 was a prime photo op!). As to the color scheme, remember a photo is only a picture of a single moment in time, and a solid green tank today can be a camouflaged tank tomorrow, (or it could have been a camouflaged tank replaced by a solid green one). So it's very possible he served on both.
VR, Russ
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 04:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Greg,
What unit was your father in?
I was in 1AD at that time and was also a Tanker.
Dan



He was stationed in Bad Hersfeld Germany, he has a plaque hanging up in the garage with a dragon and it says something like 35th fire brigade or armored. His tank was called “storm bringer”


I was in 1-35 Armor and was at Erlangen. 3-35 was at Bamberg and I know of no other BNs in the Regiment.
Dan
GregCopplin
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 05:57 AM UTC
My dad texted me this
“ I was in 2nd battalion 32 armor, 3rd armored division/ A Company commanded by Thomas J. Huey. Was stationed at Kirchgoens with a defensive position on a ridge in badhersfeld”
AKirchhoff
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 06:08 AM UTC
Hi!
This should be the camp in question!

http://castlesingermany2.homestead.com/AyersKaserne.html

Gretings
Andreas
Sleepwalker71
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 06:22 AM UTC
Does it mean that even when a tank was repainted into various MERDC schemes like Desert Gray, being in my interest, the bottom of the tank would remain in Forest Green?
metalhead85
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 08:30 AM UTC
Hi All,
I was in 2/6 Inf., at Erlangen from '85-'87. There were 3 tank battalions on post at the time: 1/35, 3/34, and 2/81, all part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Div. There was also an MLRS company I think(not sure). When I left in November of '87, one battalion had brand new M1A1s in their motorpool, don't know about the rest. We still had M113s....but the M60A3s were in MERDC

Rich
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 09:17 AM UTC
Well I think it's pretty well settled that Greg's Dad was in Kirchgoens. His GDP position was at Bad Hersfeld, which is a lot different than being stationed in Bad Hersfeld. Later in my career, I would become the commander of the 414th Base Support Battalion at Hanau, and Kirchgoens base (including Ayers Kaserne) came under the jurisdiction of my Battalion. I was there in 1997 when General Crouch, the USAREUR commander, made the decision to close Kirchgoens. Col Fontenot, the 3rd Brigade commander, 1AD, was very unhappy. By the time DS/DS was done, most of the units that had been there in the 80s had been thoroughly re-shuffled, including the 3rdAD. The units stationed there, including the 32 Armor, were moved elsewhere. And by that time, with the unification of Germany, the GDP positions were gone. Now, It's all gone.
VR, Russ
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 09:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Does it mean that even when a tank was repainted into various MERDC schemes like Desert Gray, being in my interest, the bottom of the tank would remain in Forest Green?



Short answer is yes. Long answer is it would be hard to tell for sure, because the bottom of the tank would become very dirty and tired looking rather quickly. When tanks are taken to rebuild facilities, they're basically stripped down and re-painted, so you get to start all over again with the base color. Today's tanks are CARC painted in special facilities, so the crews don't do a lot of painting like we did "in the old days". My tank was normally painted twice a year (spring and fall) back then. But we were quite active, had a high readiness priority, and had lots of money to do so. But even then, we'd never crawl under a tank to paint the underside-- it was a waste of paint and time. Not every unit repainted quite as often as we did.
VR, Russ
SWATdoc
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 11:35 AM UTC
Hello Gregory. I was stationed at Ayers Kaserne (The Rock) in Kirch-Gons during 1981-1982 with 3BN 36IN. This was a 3D Armored Division post. I recall the day that the first M60A3's and their crews arrived on the base after finishing their transition training. It was a bit of a celebration as the new tanks lined up around the parade field. The West Germans brought their Leopards and Marders for display and the public was allowed on post. I took as many photos as my trusty 110 film supply allowed.

These -A3's were in forest green and although the vehicles were clean, the paint was fairly well faded. The crews were rightly proud and even the Grunts were glad to have this awesome new vehicle on our side.

Respectfully,
Allen
GregCopplin
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 12:12 PM UTC
Didn’t realize that there were a lot of guys on here that served in Germany during this time frame. My dad tells me stories every now and then when i see him. He remembers the time that the new depleted uranium sabo rounds came out and they had to load there tanks in early morning hours with them. He also tells me I’m lucky I’m on strikers because he remembers getting new track on Christmas Eve and being in the motorpool on Christmas morning finishing up the track change
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 12:59 PM UTC
[quote]Hi All,
I was in 2/6 Inf., at Erlangen from '85-'87. There were 3 tank battalions on post at the time: 1/35, 3/34, and 2/81, all part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Div. There was also an MLRS company I think(not sure). When I left in November of '87, one battalion had brand new M1A1s in their motorpool, don't know about the rest. We still had M113s....but the M60A3s were in MERDC

Rich[/quote
Richard, There was a MLRS battery at the kaserne and us in 1-35 had transitioned to the M1A1s in September '87. If I remember correctly, your MP was next to ours.
Dan
panamadan
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 01:01 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Does it mean that even when a tank was repainted into various MERDC schemes like Desert Gray, being in my interest, the bottom of the tank would remain in Forest Green?


When our M60A3s were repainted our BN commander decided not to camo paint the lower hull-they were repainted Forest green.
Dan
Sleepwalker71
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 01:41 PM UTC
@Russ @Dan

Thanks a lot. That solves my dilemma. As MERDC has no dominant color, I was really wondering what about hull bottom. It is true that at the end of a day it will be dirty and scratched but base color will be still visible there, to some extent.
metalhead85
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 01:23 AM UTC
Hi Dan....yes I believe you are correct. Being 52,my memory fades when it comes to certain things, but that I'll never forget. Loved it there...great place to be as an 18 year old!
Our M113s were also in MERDC but with out the sand color-we never used it. During one of the Reforger exercises, we did a "Reconstitution Mission" for what ever reason, and were issued forest green M113s...interesting.
TankSGT
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 02:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

@Russ @Dan

Thanks a lot. That solves my dilemma. As MERDC has no dominant color, I was really wondering what about hull bottom. It is true that at the end of a day it will be dirty and scratched but base color will be still visible there, to some extent.



The bottom was the base color from the factory. When the tanks were painted MERDC , I painted mine, we only painted as far as we could reach. Having crawled under several tanks doing maintenance I can say in my observation the bottoms are never repainted after they leave the factory or depot.

Tom