Featured Blogger GP – Ordnance – M3 Howitzer #AceHistoryDesk report

Should anyone wish to further research the 11th Airborne’s field artillery, the division constituted the 674th and 675th Airborne Field Artillery.

Paratrooper Everett Smith (Smitty, far right) during training

674th Airborne Field Artillery

The 105 mm Howitzer M3 was a light howitzer designed for use by airborne troops. The gun utilized the barrel of the 105 mm howitzer M2, shortened and fitted to a slightly modified split trail carriage of the 75 mm pack howitzer. The howitzer was used by the U.S. Army during WWII.  It was issued to airborne units and the cannon companies of infantry regiments.

The howitzer was designed to fire the same ammunition as the longer M2. However, it turned out that shorter barrel resulted in incomplete burning of the propelling charge. The problem could be solved by use of faster burning powder. Otherwise the design was considered acceptable and was standardized as 105 mm Howitzer M3 on Carriage M3. The carriage was soon succeeded by the M3A1, which had trails made from thicker plate. Even stronger tubular trails were designed, but never reached production.

The production started in February 1943 and continued until May 1944; an additional bunch was produced in April–June 1945.Production of М3, pcs.[2]Year194319441945TotalProduced, pcs.1,9654102052,580

The gun fired semi-fixed ammunition, similar to the ammunition of the M2; it used the same projectiles and the same 105 mm Cartridge Case M14, but with different propelling charge. The latter used faster burning powder to avoid incomplete burning; it consisted of a base charge and four increments, forming five charges from 1 (the smallest) to 5 (the largest).

In an emergency, gunners were authorized to fire M1 HE rounds prepared for the Howitzer M2, but only with charges from 1 to 3. M1 HE rounds for the M3 could be fired from an M2 with any charge.

HEAT M67 Shell had non-adjustable propelling charge. For blank ammunition, a shorter Cartridge Case M15 with black powder charge was used.Available ammunitionTypeModelWeight (round/projectile)FillerMuzzle velocityRangeHEHE M1 Shell18.35 kg (40 lb) / 14.97 kg (33 lb)50/50 TNT or amatol*2.18 kg (4 lb 13 oz)311 m/s (1,020 ft/s)7,585 m (8,300 yd)HEAT-THEAT M67 Shell16.62 kg (37 lb) / 13.25 kg (29 lb)311 m/s (1,020 ft/s)7,760 m (8,500 yd)SmokeWP M60 Shell18.97 kg (42 lb) / 15.56 kg (34 lb)White Phosphorus, 1.84 kg (4.1 lb)311 m/s (1,020 ft/s)7,585 m (8,300 yd)SmokeFS M60 Shell19.65 kg (43 lb) /Sulfur trioxide in Chlorosulfonic acid, 2.09 kg (4 lb 10 oz)SmokeHC BE M84 Shell18.29 kg (40 lb) / 14.91 kg (33 lb)Zinc chloride311 m/s (1,020 ft/s)7,585 m (8,300 yd)

* Amatol is a highly explosive material made from a mixture of TNT and ammonium nitrate.   Amatol was used extensively during WWI and WWII.

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Military Humor – 

Light Artillery

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Farewell Salutes – 

Mildred (Andrews) Andres – Baton Rouge, LA; US Army WAC, German Occupation, Sgt.

FINAL MISSION

Patricia Delaney – Evanston, IL; US Navy WAVES, WWII, Lt. JG

Thomas A. Dennison – Lander, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

John Jarvie – Rock Springs, WY; USMC, WWII, PTO / Korea, MSgt., Engineering, (Ret. 21 y.)

Theodore Lumpkin Jr. (100) – Angeleno, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 2nd Lt., 100th Fighter Squadron, Intelligence; Lt. Col. (Ret.)

Davis Mosqueda – Boise, ID; USMC, Silent Drill Corps, LCpl.

Louis V. O’Brien – Providence, RI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 486/352 Fighter Group, 2nd Lt., pilot

Madge (Watkins) Redwood – Auckland, NZ; NZ Army WAAC, WWII, # 813240, 9th Coastal Regiment

Brian D. Sicknick – NJ; National Guard, Middle East, Sgt., /  US Capitol Police, 1st Responder Unit

James Wento – Lynn, MA; US Army, SSgt., 2-2 Assault Helicopter Battalion/2nd Combat Assault

Published: Jan.11: 2021: Ordnance – M3 Howitzer