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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: 2 Sep 1940 US-Great Britain Destroyers for Bases agreement, transferred 50 mothballed US destroyers to UK in exchange for land rights on British possessions.  More 
2 Sep 1945 Japanese formal surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, remembered as VJ Day (Victory over Japan) in the US.
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Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M880 CUCV and a pair of M998 HMMWVs in staging area before being loaded aboard the SS CAPE HORN (T-AKR 5068) for shipment back to the United States at the conclusion of US/South Korean Exercise TEAM SPIRIT '87, 15 Apr 1987.  M88 Hercules, M-939 Series 5-ton, 6x6 Truck in background.
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.
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.
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division connect a tow bar from an M-88 Hercules recovery vehicle to an M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle (FAASV) after a mechanical breakdown during training at Fort Stewart, GA, 6 March  2007.
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 (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.

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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