"...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)
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
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)
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.
specified the desired characteristics for its "light fighting tank"(7):
1. Medium weight [not over 9,500 lbs.] and two man crew
3. Armament :
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
4. Armour protection: 1/2 to 1/4 inch.
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.
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.
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)
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
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)
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.
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)
being load- tested with the standard US Navy 45 foot steam launch
on image for further information)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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
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)
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)
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)
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.
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
urging the abandonment of the Marine tank policy in favor of standard Army
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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.
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
1942: Marine tanks at Tutuila, American Somoa
on image for further information)
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)
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.
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
(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
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.
(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
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.
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,
(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
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
factory numbers 1434-38, M-H plant Inspector to CMC 25Jul39, RG127/E18/129.
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.
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
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
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;
(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.
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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