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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: 27 Aug 1939 First turbojet-powered aircraft, the Heinkel 178, maiden flight piloted by Captain Erich Warsitz.   

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

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.
The Service and Recovery Shop Soldiers of Company B, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, use an M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicle (in background) to pull an FMTV cargo vehicle out of a deep puddle of mud during their recovery training, Ft. Hood, TX, 14 Aug 2008.
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.
An M-88 Hercules armored recovery vehicle is used to lift the damaged hull of an M-48 Patton main battle tank, Ft. Stewart, GA, 1989.
M88A1 Hercules Heavy Equipment Recovery Vehicle, date and location unknown.
Marines with Joint Task Force African Lion 2012 from 4th Marine Logisitics Group, 4th Marine Division, us an M88 Hercules to load an M-777 Light Weight Howitzer, as part of a massive maritime offload at the Port of Agadir, Morocco, 5 April 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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