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M-7 Tank Destroyer, Knocked Out in Suicide Attack

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by kerrd5, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. sample

    sample Member

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    In US Army Infantry Divisions 1944-45 By John Sayen, Duncan Anderson it is mentioned that few unspecified units used M7 in their canon companies in Europe and Pacific replacing the 75mm or 105 mm mounted on half-tracks;

    Also in the New Vanguard no 131 - US Field Artillery of WW 2 the M7 is mentioned as used as an expedient assault gun in the headquarters companies of tank battalions until M4 105 mm became available; the US Marine Corps replaced the old M3 75 mm GMG with M7 in their Special Weapons Battalions and used in diresct-fire assault role in Pacific; the same source specifies that the M7 was widely used in US Army infantry canon companies in the final campaigns of '44-45 in the Pacific.

    best regards
     
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  2. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    My very well informed source in the Philippines has discovered
    evidence that this could be a M-7 Priest from the Cannon Company, 161st Infantry. He wrote:


    " I also have a great WWII Sketch Book called 165 Days 25th Division on Luzon by William de Jarnette Rutherford. It's a great book of mostly sketches and short narratives but in the part about San Manuel it has a sketch of a Japanese attack including a sapper running towards an M-7 and under neath it says:

    "'During one of the many counterattacks, a "nip" managed to get a lunge mine on one of our M-7's.'"



    Dave
     
  3. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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  4. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    From the 25th ID Association Website:

    "The 161st was next given the mission of clearing the town of San Manuel of Japanese forces. The Japanese forces were well dug in and determined to hold San Manual. Seizing the high ground northwest of the town on 22 January, the Regiment found itself in a fierce fight with a determined foe. The Japanese force consisted of some 1,000 troops supported by approximately forty tanks. As the 2nd Battalion, 161st Infantry supported by Cannon Company, 161st Infantry advanced to the edge of the town, the Japanese counterattacked. In extreme close combat the brunt of the attack fell on Company E supported by Cannon Company equipped with self-propelled direct-fire 105mm howitzers. In the two hour battle Cannon Company destroyed nine enemy tanks as Company E, while sustaining fifty percent casualties in close combat, turned back the Japanese attack. On 25 January the 2nd Battalion resumed its advance into the town led by Cannon Company which destroyed some twenty dug-in enemy tanks and four artillery pieces and some 150 enemy soldiers while the 2nd Battalion inflicted additional heavy casualties on the retreating Japanese forces as the 161st completed the liberation of San Manuel by 28 January. For their extreme gallantry both Company E and Cannon Company were each awarded a Presidential Unit Citation."

    161st Infantry "First Washington"

    Where's my beer? :)


    Dave
     
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  5. blacksnake

    blacksnake Member

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    Ahhh !!! The M-7 "Priest" SPG ... I first came across one of these at the "Underwater Wrecks Museum" in Normandy last year (just south of Port-en-Bessin) ...

    [​IMG]

    A close-up of the "Pulpit" ...
    [​IMG]

    My favorite shot of the M-7 is this one: Photograph taken as an M-7 "Priest" SPG drives along 'Rue Holgate,' Carentan Normandy, June 1944. The building it's passing (with the Jeep outside) was being used as the 101st Airbourne Aid Station (still there today).
    [​IMG]
     
  6. huppmoile

    huppmoile recruit

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    My Father, Staff Sergeant Donald C. Boyd, served with the 32nd "Red Arrow" Division, 128th Infantry Regiment, Cannon Company. He fought on Leyte, Luzon, the Druiniumor River, and the Villa Verde Trail where he drove an M7 Priest and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism. He now resides in Swanton, Ohio and is in good health. A short interview and recent images of my Dad may be viewed at this link. America's Greatest Generation: Army Heroes: Donald C. Boyd
     
  7. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    The Carentan photo is outstanding. I wish the NARA ID #, not the SC number, was known, though.


    Dave
     
  8. kerrd5

    kerrd5 Ace

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    Would you like a high-resolution copy of my photo?


    Dave
     
  9. blacksnake

    blacksnake Member

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    Thanks Dave ... Here are a few more you might like ....

    No caption for this one ... But from the style of helmets worn by the crew, I'd have to assume they were British ??
    [​IMG]

    An M-7 and crew in action, Normandy region 1944.
    [​IMG]

    Finally ... A fully restored M-7 (location unknown)
    [​IMG]

     
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  10. blacksnake

    blacksnake Member

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    Ooops !! Almost forgot ... Last one :)

    M-7 fitted with a "wading skirt"... Normandy 1944.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. SPGunner

    SPGunner Member

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    Great photos.
     
  12. rhef

    rhef recruit

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    My father was wounded on January 25th during this battle. How can I obtain information regarding his action (he was awarded the silver star)?
     
  13. sgtpeter

    sgtpeter New Member

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    Hi Rick - the morning reports for the 161st Infantry indicate that Sgt Hefter was a crew member on an M7 Priest. He was wounded on 25 Jan 45 at approximately 1655 when his M7 was destroyed by Japanese fire. Sgt Hefter was listed as lightly wounded in action with lacerations to the scalp from shrapnel during the attack on San Manuel. This was not the same M7 that was destroyed by the plung mine. The morning report also says he was evacuated for his wound. The morning reports I have do not indicate whether he returned to his unit. I also do not have the right records for awards during that period. Do you have any photos of your father?
     
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  14. sgtpeter

    sgtpeter New Member

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    I realize this is an old thread, but I would like to confirm that M7 belonged to Cannon Co 161st Infantry and was destroyed by a Japanese lunge mine around 0200 25 Jan 45. The attack resulted in two crew members KIA and four crew members WIA, all of whom were listed as seriously wounded. As mentioned, the M7 were acting in a direct support/anti-tank role and were credited with destroying a number of Japanese tanks in and around San Manuel.

    Peter
     
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