Marmon-Herrington military vehicles > tanks in US service > The 'Marine Tank' of 1936

The 'Marine Tank' of 1936:
The Strange Case of the Marmon-Herrington Tank 
in the US Marine Corps 
by Kenneth W. Estes

Author of the book:

MARINES UNDER ARMOR
The Marine Corps and the Armored Fighting Vehicle, 1916-2000 

Read more or order at: Amazon.com

Publication Date: 10/3/00
ISBN: 978-1557502377
 


"...initiate steps for the procurement of five (5) light fighting tanks, in accordance with the enclosed specifications, from funds now available at the Bureau of Ordnance." - Maj. Gen. John H. Russell, 1935 

These days, the desire for lightness in the Marine Corps has become a credo of almost mythical proportions.  The USMC reorganizations and doctrines emerging from the Post-Korea period abandoned the heavier organizations forged in the crucible of the Great Pacific War. The Corps consistently sought a new readiness, mobility and tactical dexterity both to distinguish the Marines from their Army brethren and to provide for the employment of emerging technologies, such as the helicopter, in warfare. 

 Some precursors to the lightness credo emerged in the formation of the first Fleet Marine Force (FMF) in the 1930s. Ship and landing craft characteristics dictated minimal size for various weapons and equipment to be carried by the nascent landing force. This requirement shaped the Marine Corps procurement of the Marmon-Herrington light tank, the Marine Tank of 1936.  In today's literature on armoured vehicles, writers have dismissed the Marmon-Herringtons as an experimental vehicle abandoned by the Corps by 1939. Such is not the case, and this essay describes how the Corps sought, then as later, a combat vehicle of special characteristics to meet its own requirements for doctrine and operations. 

At the end of 1933, the FMF replaced the old Marine Corps Expeditionary Force as more evidence that the Corps would focus on amphibious operations and base defense for the fleet as a matter of policy.(1) The Tentative Manual for Landing Operations (1934) underscored the utility of tanks in the future operations of the FMF, and called for their landing early in the assault. However, the Army light tank models had already reached the ten-ton size by the mid-1930s, and Navy cargo-handling gear available on most ships  imposed a five-ton limit. Thus, the Corps moved to  pursue  an independent development for a very light tank.(2)

The Marine Corps budgeting for the FMF initially permitted only the Quantico-based 1st Brigade to be outfitted in the first three years, and the west coast 2d Brigade, based at San Diego, would remain with only an infantry regiment on hand. Only a single tank company  was programmed in the 1934 planning therefore, with 15 tanks. The tank envisioned at that time was a 3-tonner, carrying a 1.1 in. automatic gun, or a 37mm cannon, plus .30 caliber machineguns, armoured to resist small arms and .50 caliber rounds, and capable of 25-30 mph speed. Of course no such vehicles had yet been developed, and these initial specifications had a certain aspect of fantasy (i.e. a 37mm gun on a 3-ton chassis, with such protection as specified). However, the staff at this point specifically ruled out amphibious tanks for the Corps, as these could not handle open seas expected 3-6 miles offshore. Instead, Navy lighters would be procured, hopefully capable of 13 knots, fitted with bow ramps and three pairs of .30 cal. machineguns. Alas, such landing craft remained at the same level of fantasy as the light but well-armed tank.(3)

 Rapid decisions in wake of the formation of the FMF continued toward  the creation of a Marine Corps tank arm in 1935.  Even though no tanks were on hand,(4) the commandant  obtained Army approval for a Marine Corps officer to attend its tank course, then taught at Fort Benning. Headquarters sent orders to Captain (Later BrigGen., ret.) Hartnoll  J. Withers, a 1926 graduate of the Naval Academy who had enlisted in the Corps in 1920.  Experienced from duty in Nicaragua and Haiti, he had just completed sea duty on the cruiser USS Chicago. His crucial contributions to the Marine Corps tank arm would qualify him in every sense as a pioneer in the field.(5)

 Finally, on 29 November of that year, the commandant,  Major General John H. Russell, directed his Quartermaster  to  "...initiate steps for the procurement of five (5) light fighting tanks." The Marine Corps had fully accepted the tank as an essential element of its doctrine.(6)

 The characteristics specified for the Marine Corps "light fighting tank" amounted to seven pages of legal-sized, single-spaced text, not counting testing criteria.  These summarized not only the normal criteria for a complicated mechanical piece of equipment, but also the critical needs perceived by marines at the time for the machine which would enable their amphibious assault to prevail against determined enemies.
The Corps specified the desired characteristics for its "light fighting tank"(7):

1. Medium weight [not over 9,500 lbs.] and two man crew
2. Performance:

  • Speed: 30 mph maximum, 20 mph sustained.
  • Range: 125 miles in 10 hours
  • Turning: 18 ft. diameter
  • Ford 40 in. water
  • Cross  50 in. trench, climb 22 in., drop 48 in. vertical obstacle
3.  Armament : 
  • two .30 cal. And one .50 cal. machineguns with 2000 and 500 rounds respectively of ammunition, or
  • two .30 cal. and one 37mm. Gun with 2000 and 100 rounds of ammunition.
4. Armour protection: 1/2 to 1/4 inch.

The requirements proved highly optimistic for a combat vehicle on a mere 9500 lb weight regime, and the resulting vehicle would provide endless headache for the Corps, earning little benefit for the "lightness" it provided.

 Although various firms and the Army's Ordnance Department received tenders for offer, the eventual successful bidder , the Marmon-Herrington Company of Indianapolis, was already demonstrating its candidate vehicle at Quantico on 6 December, barely a week after the commandant had ordered the quartermaster to begin procurement actions. It would seem clear that there had been some contact with the Marmon-Herrington Company, which was already marketing its "light tractor tank" as a commercial venture.(8)

 The Marmon-Herrington CTL-3 (Combat Tank, Light) contracted by the Corps at the end of 1935 was a turretless, 2-man tank employing the Lincoln V-12 engine and rubber band track over a quadruple bogie-wheel suspension to move at a maximum speed of 33 mph. Equipped with dual driving controls,  it carried three ball mounts in the hull front for the intended weapons. It reflected a good deal of Marmon-Herrington's experience with truck manufacture (including many novel four-wheel drive designs) as well as the firm's understandably limited experience with armoured vehicle design and production.  For instance, the CTL-3 used a truck type air-boosted track locking system for steering. The tankers found it too weak and vulnerable to breakdown and requested a redesign which would incorporate a conventional controlled differential steering.  The truck-type differential in the CTL was not handling well the stresses generated by pivoting, compared to the lesser requirement of compensating for torque differences when a truck makes a normal turn. The company responded that the truck parts enabled the CTL to stay below the 5-ton weight limit and that no other design would work, nor could a controlled differential simply be dropped into the present design.(9)

Despite some reservations voiced by the Marines, the pilot CTL-3 managed to pass its tests and the Navy contracting office accepted it on 5 June 1936 and ordered the remainder of the contract executed.(10) The five CTL-3s arrived at Quantico on 22 February 1937, all equipped with machineguns.  Not surprisingly, no CTL-3 ever carried a 37mm cannon, and the obsolete model M1916 originally envisioned would have produced little result of tactical value. Withers formally activated the 1st Tank Company, 1st Marine Brigade on 1 March 1937, although it remained in equipment and personnel a mere platoon for a considerable time. That summer, two more officers joined the company from the Ft. Benning tank course, 1st Lts Robert L. Denig, Jr. (later BrigGen., ret.)  and Hector de Zayas (LtCol, KIA, 1944), both 1932 Naval Academy graduates and experienced infantry officers.  Withers turned over command of the company to de Zayas in October and returned to the Marmon-Herrington plant as the inspector.  The latter then prepared the company to take its five CTL-3s to the Caribbean for Fleet Exercise #4 (FLEX4).(11)

Found: a survivor 

 Only one prototype Navy landing craft served the exercise force, so the landing at Culebra Is. proved an administrative matter of shuttling the five Marmon-Herringtons ashore. However, the platoon moved aggressively against the defenses and  routed the reserve as it arrived in trucks on the mock battlefield. A second landing exercise, conducted at nearby Vieques Is.,  saw the tank platoon split to support both sides of the exercise.  The landing force's tank lighter transported its tank to the beach with the initial assault wave and it was credited with the neutralization and destruction of beach defenses in support of the assaulting infantry. The rest of the platoon, ashore with the defenders, later made a spirited counterattack, routing a company on foot and placing the entire landing in jeopardy. All concerned agreed that the tanks demonstrated "great possibilities" and that they could contribute mightily to every phase of the missions tested in FLEX4.

 Lt. De Zayas remained critical of the CTL-3 performance, however, and his reports characterized the tank as unreliable and underpowered for cross-country maneuvering. Predictably, the two-man crew had difficulties handling three machineguns as well as their other crew duties. The lack of a turret left the vehicle vulnerable on the sides and rear.  The company commander also noted that since the Navy was able to lift the 21 ton tank lighter from the transport and place it in the sea, a heavier tank ought to be considered for landing force use, especially some of the newer light tanks then entering service with the Army.(12)

CTL-3 being load- tested with the standard US Navy 45 foot steam launch
(Click on image for further information)

 These and other criticisms of the CTL-3 tank scarcely interrupted the acquisitions plan, though, as the Corps had already contracted for a second platoon of tanks with the Marmon-Herrington Company on 14 September.  Engineering changes in this production run aimed at correcting design weaknesses but not the basic arrangements of the CTL-3.  A Hercules engine and a strengthened suspension proved to be the major improvements.  These tanks would be designated  CTL-3A. (13)

 The ultimate issue of what type tanks would equip the Fleet Marine Force fell to the Marine Corps Equipment Board (MCEB) to decide. At the end of 1937, the members saw no need to alter the existing plan, despite the diverse opinions already surfacing on the CTL-3 design.  In its status report of that month, the board opined:(14)
 

1. TANKS. Last February the Marine Corps purchased a number of light tanks which were designed exclusively for Marine Corps use and built by the Marmon-Herrington Company of Indianapolis. The particular distinguishing feature of this tank is its comparative lightness, being limited by specifications to not over five (5) tons weight which is considered to be the limit for handling by ordinary cargo carriers without special equipment. In order to stay within this weight requirement it was necessary to sacrifice to some degree features which would otherwise be desirable in a military tank.

The tanks have been in the possession of the First Tank Company, F.M.F., since date of delivery and have seen considerable service since that time, participating in various combat exercises and maneuvers held by the First Marine Brigade. Although being far from perfect at the present time it is believed that with the continued cooperation of the manufacturer and the continued valuable suggestions of the personnel of the Tank Company we will have a valuable weapon that is particularly adapted to Marine Corps requirements, which no other tank now in existence meets.

Additional tanks are now in the process of manufacture which it is believed will have considerable improvements over the present model. The Board has no reason to believe that these will be perfect either, as tanks are essentially mechanical monstrosities which contain within themselves many diametrically opposed features. The history of tank development since the World War indicates that it is largely a process of "trial and error" and fraught with considerable expense.


The board's optimistic forecast proved more than the CTL-3A could achieve. The pilot model CTL-3A repeatedly failed its trials. The Marmon-Herrington Company engineers and management insisted that nothing failed that would not be rectified by refurbishing the pilot tank or minor redesign. They stipulated that the pilot proved a distinct improvement over the CTL-3. The tank committee of the MCEB, led by LtCol (later Gen) Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., remained adamant. The failures to them seemed decisive, for example the shearing off of a road wheel after 121 miles on a road march.  The board moved on 1 September 1938 to terminate the contract, citing road wheels and suspension defects as cause, but allowed one last test to prove whether the defects could in fact be rectified.(15)

 The crucial retrial of the CTL-3A was conducted at the expense of the contractor. On 25 November, the commandant notified the Bureau of Supply that he approved the recommendation of the board to accept the tank, despite its being 390 lbs. overweight and a failure to climb the 22 in. vertical concrete step (it did climb 18 in.).  On 23 December, the Marmon-Herrington Company received its contract for the five CTL-3A tanks. The crisis was past and the Corps would continue to receive its "light fighting tanks." (16)

 The second platoon of tanks, all CTL-3A "improved" light tanks, entered Marine Corps service on 16 June 1939, over two years after the 1st Tank Company, FMF stood up and just under four years since major general commandant Russell had ordered the initial procurement. But the tortuous establishment of the new armoured fighting vehicle arm was only half over.(17)

 LtCol. Shepherd, a veteran infantry officer who would go on to be one of the Corps most revered commanders, had already begun to take steps to correct evident deficiencies in the tank program, both in concept and execution. His influence prompted the board to begin work on changing the commandant's policy.

Shepherd would later relate how he accosted the Marine Corps staff: "All of a sudden, it struck me, why who in the hell said it had to be five tons. I went to headquarters, G-3 section, I said, 'who wrote these specifications.' Well, I won't mention his name. I had previously made investigations that the booms on the transports, at least one or two of them were fifteen ton booms. I said, 'why the hell do we have to have a five ton tank with a fifteen ton boom. Why don't you increase the weight of the tank to seven tons?' We can make a good tank weighing seven tons, but we can't get it down to five." (18)

Colonel Shepherd urging the abandonment of the Marine tank policy in favor of standard Army machines.

It is the opinion of this [tank and motor transport] committee that any future tanks procured by the Marine Corps be purchased from the Army. The funds available to the [Army] Ordnance Corps for research, development and test, and their resources for production, are far superior to the mediocre facilities and limited funds of the Marine Corps for development of a special type vehicle manufactured by a civilian concern. Although the characteristics of the Army tank may not be ideal for landing operations, their many excellent features and assurity of procurement make their adoption by the Marine Corps desirable.


 The pressure on the board mounted in 1939, for the full requirements of the two-brigade FMF had to be met, as the available manpower now allowed the FMF to fill its ranks. The Marmon-Herrington "Marine Tank" was continuing to develop, but the Army tank program, based upon key engineering developments accomplished in the 1930s, was progressing at astounding speed. Navy landing craft already existed in prototype and planning which foresaw the handling of tanks in the 20 ton range.(19)

 Shepheard's appeal stuck, for perhaps the evidence had become too overwhelming.  The staff memo to the commandant proposed a moratorium on any new tank purchases until the 1941 procurement plan. Noting that the second platoon of Marmon-Herringtons shortly would reach Quantico in August and no maneuvers would be held until the following winter, the Plans and Policy Division staff recommended deferring future tank acquisition pending the testing of new tanks, with more funds anticipated in 1941.(20)

 The 1st Tank Company, now commanded by Capt. Charles G. "Griffey" Meints and executive officer 1st Lt. [later LtGen.] William R. "Rip" Collins, both graduates of the 1938-39 tank course at Ft. Benning, was to participate in FLEX6. They would take both platoons of CTL-3 and 3A tanks as well as a single Army light tank, the new M2A4. The beginning of the European War enhanced the seriousness but not the size of the January-February 1940 exercise, which served mostly for the testing of newer Navy landing craft. The M2A4 showed that it could operate from these landing craft quite well, although the suspension system proved vulnerable to saltwater, causing some consternation among the tankers. The newer model CTL-3A handled much better with a wider (10.5 inch) band track, proving that the Marmon-Herrington engineers could improve as well. (21)

The commandant wanted to wait no further in building up that tank company, for the Marine Corps budget swelled with each congressional debate over defense readiness and the necessary expansion of the forces in 1940.  He instructed the president of the MCEB that experience already indicated the need for improvements to light tanks since the last procurement. Anticipating funds for 18-20 new tanks, he requested specifications for these tanks by mid-April.(22)

On 3 April 1940, the Marine Corps Equipment Board sat in full-day session to determine the future of the Marine Corps tank program. The board advocated buying improved Marmon-Herrington 12,500 lb. tanks and a new, three-man turreted tank of 18,000 lbs. The operational concept provided for using the smaller tank for clearing the immediate beach area in an assault, with the heavier, more capable tank used for operations inland. General Holcomb signed the order that day. (23)

 The April decision by the MCEB to recommend the procurement of both improved CTL-3s and a new turreted tank produced fast action after General Holcomb's approval.  The board provided more detailed specifications and the commandant ordered the quartermaster on 19 April to buy both types of tanks as soon as bids had been received. He also ordered the modernization of the original platoon of CTL-3s to the new standard.(24)
Events moved far too rapidly for normal peacetime planning, however. As the Battle of France ensued in Europe and the British Army retreated from the continent of Europe, the commandant received a disturbing memo from his chief planner, Charles D. Barrett, a brigadier general and the chief architect of the 1930s amphibious doctrine. Noting that the Corps had ten Marmon-Herrington tanks in hand, 20 more on order and a further five of the new turreted 9-tonners on order, Barrett asserted that more urgent measures now became necessary.(25)

Several factors have recently arisen which materially affect the policy of the Marine Corps with respect to tanks. First. The present war has demonstrated the great effectiveness of tanks, and the relative numbers of tanks to other arms has been greater than formerly thought desirable. Second...it seems probable that in a number of cases, that the FMF could land without opposition and would then be called upon to defend a relatively large area. In this event a fast striking force would constitute the best defense. Third. The possibility of being ordered on operations before new tanks can be built has been increased. In this case, Army tanks actually on hand would constitute the only supply. It is believed that Army tanks could be secured if the emergency were sufficiently great.
 The MCEB now seconded General Barrett's suggestion and recommended procurement of Army light tanks for the east and west coast brigades as soon as possible.  The tank companies assigned to those brigades would  be required before any tank previously recommended by the board could be developed. On 8 July 1940, the secretary of the Navy formally requested 36 Army light tanks from the secretary of the Army.(26)

 The east and west coast brigades officially expanded to division size organizations on 1 February 1941.  As new regiments formed and the expansion of tank companies to battalions ensued, the old Marmon-Herrington tanks went to the division special troops with their newly-designated scout companies, leaving the M2A4 equipped 3d and 4th Tank Companies as cadre for the new battalions. Both 1st and 2d Scout Companies operated the rebuilt Marmon-Herrington CTL-3M tanks and the four-wheel M3A1 armoured scout car. 

 The commandant ordered M3 tanks in March, 1941 to complete the requirement for the first two tank battalions, which were to operate three companies of light tanks and a fourth of Marmon-Herringtons. The new turretless CTL-6 pilot vehicle passed inspection at the Marmon-Herrington plant in May. Curiously, the same armament of three machine guns, all .30 cal., was retained in separate ball mountings for the two man crew to operate.  The new three man turreted tank, called the CTM-3TBD, carried two .50 cal. machine guns in the turret, retained the three machine guns in the front hull featuring also a diesel engine. New suspension designs resembled the M2A4 system. The new tanks proved to be overweight by 1870 (CTL-6) and 2680 (CTM-3TBD) lbs., but there was no more quibbling at this point. (27)

After modifications to prevent accidental fires had been completed at the plant, headquarters had shipped the CTL-6s and the turreted CTM-3TBDs to the two divisions in February and March 1942. But the battalion commanders had apparently convinced their division commanders of the futility of operating the Marmon-Herringtons in combat, and the tanks were taken out of the battalions in May and June on the west and east coasts. (28)

 The amphibious corps commanders now ordered the Marmon-Herringtons into the 1st and 2d Separate Tank Companies on the east and west coasts.  These would deploy to Samoa with the 3d and 22d Marines to reinforce the garrison there.(29) These new regiments and tank companies would replace the reinforced 7th and 8th Marines and allow those units to return to their divisions. The 1st Separate Tank Company landed on Uvea Island, in the Wallis Island Group.  The 2d Company remained in British Samoa with the 22d Marines, joined by the tank platoon, 1st Scout Company. Thus, almost the entire USMC Marmon-Herrington tank inventory served its last days in support of the Samoa garrisons.(30)

Sept. 1942: Marine tanks at Tutuila, American Somoa
(Click on image for further information)

 The deployment to Samoa ended the active service of the Marmon-Herrington tanks in the Marine Corps.  The  separate tank companies operated them there until returning to the US with their regiments in March, 1943. The tankers of the Wallis Island  Defense Forces left most of their tanks behind, dug-in as pillboxes. The Marmon-Herringtons were left undoubtedly for the defense battalions to use in Samoa, but none ever entered combat with US forces.(31)

The amphibious requirements of 1934 caused the major general commandant, General Russell, to include "light fighting tanks" in his list of components needed for the formation of the Fleet Marine Force, dedicated to the amphibious assault and defense of forward naval bases.  The Corps' unique pursuit of a tankette of minimal size and capability in the 1930s stemmed from the limited view of beach defenses and the restricted capacity that ships and craft of the period displayed.  In effect, the Marine Corps only needed enough of a tank to land and knock out the opposing machine guns, and then accompany the infantry inland to support a short-term operation. One discerns here the beginnings of "lightness" as a Marine Corps dogma: the concept that Marine Corps forces, unlike the U.S. Army, fight in a "light" configuration using special methods and tactics thus requiring distinct equipment types.

Ironically, The Japanese Army and Naval Infantry followed the very lines of armoured fighting vehicle doctrine and development initially favored by the Corps in the 1930s: small, handy  tanks for infantry support and trusting to the ubiquitous 37mm antitank gun for countering any enemy armour.  U.S. Marines and soldiers had little difficulty in killing these smaller tanks with a variety of ground and mobile weapons in the war.  By contrast, one can just imagine how well the CTL-6 light and CTM-3TBD improved model Marmon-Herringtons might have faired in the jungles of New Georgia and New Britain or at Tarawa, had the European War not stampeded the Corps to field army-type tanks.

Copyright Kenneth W. Estes, 2000 / All Rights Reserved


• Back to M-H vehicles in service: USA



Endnotes:
  • (1) Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis (New York, 1980),  336; Kenneth J. Clifford, Progress and Purpose: A Developmental History of the United States Marine Corps 1900-1970 (Washington, 1973), 43-46].
  • (2) Quoted in  Clifford, 54.
  • (3) Commandant of the Marine Corps [CMC] to Cdr, Special Service Squadron, USN, 19Jun34, National Archives and Records Administration [NARA], Washington DC, Record Group 127 Entry 18, Box 76(hereafter RG127/E18/76).
  • (4) SecNav to SecWar ltr 12 Sept35: reports eight M1917 on hand at Quantico: serial numbers: 18282, 18124, 18235, 18254, 18367, and 18428; 20717 and 20797. All were considered unserviceable, and the letter requested authority to dispose of them. Subsequent letters transferred them to the Navy for disposal. RG127/E18/270.
  • (5) Withers file, Reference Section, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington DC [hereafter, RefSect];  Army C/S ltr to CNO, 18Jul35, Msg Asst CMC to USS Chicago 25Jul35; RG127/E18/57.
  • (6) CMC  to the Quartermaster of the Marine Corps [QMMC]  29Nov35, RG127/E140A/128
  • (7) CMC to   QMMC  29Nov35, RG127/E140A/128.
  • (8) Asst CMC memo 3 Dec 35, RG127/E140A/128.
  • (9) Correspondence between HQMC and the Marmon-Herrington Company, 1937, RG127/E18/164; tank data from  Fred Crismon, U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles (Osceola, WI, 1992), 65-66.
  • (10) Navy Dept (BuSup) to Marmon-Herrington Co Inc 5Jun36; APG to CMC 22Sept36 reported  passing 1/4" armour plates for M-H lt tk. Test was 100 yds .30 AP and 50 yds .30 ball, both achieved partial pen. only. RG127/E140A/128.
  • (11) QM Quantico ltr to QMMC 26Feb37, QM Quantico Ltr to CG, FMF 20Feb37, reporting acceptance  of CTL, factory no's 1329-33 [Marine Corps numbers were T-1 through 5] for use by 1st Tank Co, 1st Marine Bde, FMF upon its formation. "Tanks in test run have demonstrated ability to: 1. Run a hundred and twenty-five miles without addition of gas, oil or water.  2. Make a complete three hundred and sixty degree turn in either direction within a circle of eighteen feet in diameter by turning on one locked track. 3. Bridge a trench fifty inches wide. 4. Negotiate a forty-eight inch vertical drop without turning over. 5. Negotiate a twenty-two inch vertical rise." CMC to CG MarBks Quantico 10Mar37: directs installation of one USN radio receiver, type RU in one of the CTL. RG127/E140A/128
  • (12) FLEX4 reports, NARA, Washington Regional Records Center, Suitland MD, Accession number  64A-4552 [hereafter RG127/64A-4552], cited in Arthur E. Burns III, "The Origin and Development of U.S. Marine Corps Tank Units: 1923-1945,"  student paper,  Marine Corps Command and Staff College (Quantico, 1977),  24-27.
  • (13) CMC ltr  to BuOrd 18 Sept37 req contracting M-H for five more CTL @ $14,680 bid, but the contract itself is dated 14 Sept37;  Memo Dir Ops/Trng to CMC 21 Sept37; RG127/E140A/128.
  • (14) MCEB notes 9Dec37; RG127/E18/76.
  • (15) CMC  to Chief, BuSup 14Sept38 RG127/E18/164.
  • (16) Dir Ops/trng 8Nov38 memo to CMC notes M-H ltr to CMC 7 Nov stating  test tank ready on 15 Nov; CMC ltr to BuSup 25Nov38;  M-H ltr  to HQMC 7Dec38 presenting contracts for final signatures;  BuSup to M-H ltr  23Dec38 accepts;RG127/E18/129.
  • (17) Vehicles factory numbers 1434-38, M-H plant Inspector to CMC 25Jul39, RG127/E18/129.
  • (18) General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Transcript of Oral History interviews 1966-67, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington DC, 1967, 38-40.
  • (19) CMC to BuOrd  29Jun36, Budget Est for FY38;  CMC to BuOrd 15May37 "The present procurement plans call for two tank companies with eighteen light tanks each." RG127/E140A/270.
  • (20) P&P memo to CMC 20Jul39; RG127/E18/1230.
  • (21) QMMC file on FLEX6, notes general satisfaction with tanks, especially the second series of five with its improved track, RG127/E140A/File 169-1; Burns, 32; cf. Frank O. Hough, Verle E. Ludwig, Henry I. Shaw  Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal, Vol. I, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II. (Washington, 1958), 23-32 and Clifford, 52-53 on lighters, although both erroneously note that the Corps had "given up" on the M-H tank  by 1939.
  • (22)  CMC to pres. MCEB 23Feb40, RG127/E18/1229.
  • (23) Dir P&P to CMC  8Apr40: decision memo on number, type of tanks; RG127/E140B/154.
  • (24) Pres MCEB to 13 Apr40 CMC;  CMC to QMMC 19Apr40; 14Jun40 CMC to Ch, BuOrd 14Jun40 RG127/E18/1229
  • (25)  Memo Dir, P&P Div to CMC  24Jun40; CMC to QMMC 2Jul40 orders 5 tanks M2A4 ($165,000) and 31 light tank, combat 13 1/2 ton  ($1,023,000);  Ltr Ch BuOrd Navy Dept. 7Aug40, notes verbal orders of CMC 31Jul40 modified above order to 36 M2A4 at $1,188,000; RG127/E140B/154.
  • (26) Pres MCEB to CMC 27Jun40; SecNav to SecWar 8Jul40, refers to both 11.5 ton and 13.5 ton models of the M2A4, but the latter already had been designated M3; RG127/ E18/1229.
  • (27) CMC to QMMC 21Mar41 orders 39 M3 tks @ $1.365M;  CMC to CG 1st & 2d Div 29Jul41:  schedule for activation of tank units;  M-H plant Inspector [LtCol. Fred S Robillard] to CMC 12 May41,  RG127/E140B/184; Crismon, 66-67.
  • (28) Inspector M-H plant to QMMC 16Feb42; QMMC to Insp M-H 23Feb42; RG127/E140B/226; QM2dTkBn to CMC 20Apr42; Hercules Motors Corpn to CMC 7May42; RG127/E18/1227.
  • (29) CMC to CG, PhibCorpsPAC 17Jun42; RG127/E140B/226; Muster rolls show the 2d Separate Tank Company arriving Samoa 29Jul42, RefSect; One version relates that the company arrived in Samoa with 12 Marmon-Herringtons, and the rest M2A4 (presumably from the 6 left in Charleston from the old A Company, 2d Tk Bn deployment to Iceland), and one M3. They were later issued new M3A1 tanks with stabilizers and  power turrets, but British radios with USSR markings, intended for LendLease; Doug Brown interview.
  • (30) Muster Rolls, RefSect; The remaining 5 CTL-3M tanks in the USMC probably stayed with the 2d Scout Company, mustering with 2d Tank Battalion starting in August, 1942.
  • (31) Muster Rolls, RefSect; Doug Brown and Fred Chapman interviews.

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