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M88 Hercules Heavy Equipment Recovery Vehicle

The M88 Hercules (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) is a full-tracked, armored vehicle that was the Army's primary heavy equipment recovery, combat utility lift, and evacuation system beginning in the Vietnam era. The M-88A1 was introduced to the Army and the Marine Corps in 1977. The M88A2 Hercules uses the M88A1 chassis but significantly improves towing, winching, lifting, and braking characteristics. The Hercules is the primary recovery support for the Abrams tank fleet, the heavy Assault Bridge, and heavy self-propelled artillery.

USMC M88 Recovery Vehicle lifting a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine into an M1A1 Abrams tank, Camp Coyote, Kuwait, 8 February 2003. The Marines are from 1st Tank Battalion, Twentynine Palms, CA
USMC M88 Recovery Vehicle lifting a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine into an M1A1 Abrams tank, Camp Coyote, Kuwait, 8 February 2003. The Marines are from 1st Tank Battalion, Twentynine Palms, CA.

The M88 Hercules is equipped with a 70-ton main winch, 35-ton hoist boom, and a 1,050 horsepower engine.

Today in WW II: 1 Nov 1942 First LORAN-A navigation system placed in operation with four stations between the Chesapeake Capes and Nova Scotia.  More 
1 Nov 1943 US Marines land at Empress Augusta Bay, on west coast of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands [Operation Goodtime].
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Military vehicles and equipment are unloaded from rail cars for movement to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, circa 1960. In the foreground, M88 Hercules Heavy Equipment Recovery Vehicle and a row of M113 Armored Personnel Carriers.
M886 ambulances are unloaded from a C-130 Hercules aircraft during Exercise REFORGER 85, Jan 1985.
2nd Squadron, 11th Cavalry Regiment, 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) on the main road at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, 25 October 2005.
US Marine Corps M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System vehicle (HERCULES) from ABV platoon, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, lifts up an ABV (assault breacher vehicle) during repairs in Bahram Chah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, 20 March 2011.
An M-88 Hercules Armored Recovery Vehicle (center) pulls an M-577 command post vehicle (right -- M113 variant), across a shallow river bed during the South Korea/US Exercise Team Spirit 84, 21 Mar 1984.  The lead vehicle appears to be a 2-1/2 ton 6x6 cargo truck.
An M88 Hercules Tank Recovery Vehicle drives down Torrance Blvd. during the Armed Forces Days Parade, Torrance, CA, 19 May 2012.

M-88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle, Full Tracked, Medium Photo Gallery

4th Infantry Division M88 Recovery Track
4th Infantry Division M88 Recovery Track.

M88 loads damaged M113 APC in Vietnam, January 1971
M88 loads damaged M113 APC in Vietnam, January 1971.

M88A1 Recovery Vehicle, Full Tracked, Medium
M88A1 Recovery Vehicle, Full Tracked, Medium.

M88A2 Recovery Vehicle
M88A2 Recovery Vehicle.

M88A2 Hercules on transporter, I-20 East, Ft. Worth, TX 10 September 2007
M88A2 Hercules on transporter, I-20 East, Ft. Worth, TX 10 September 2007. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

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