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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: 26 Nov 1942 Battle of Brisbane: American and Australian soldiers fight in Brisbane, Australia with multiple fatalities [26-27 Nov].   

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

M88 Hercules Heavy Equipment Recovery Vehicle lifting damaged M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), Vietnam, January 1971.
M-88 Hercules armored recovery vehicle towing an Amored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) from storage as preparations are made for Exercise REFORGER 78, Ramstein Air Base, September 1978.
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.
The crew of an M-88A1 Hercules armored recovery vehicle of Headquarters and Supply (H&S) Co., 3rd Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, recovers a B Co. M-60A1 main battle tank that fell off a trailer during Operation Desert Shield, 23 September 1990.
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.
Members of the 1462nd Transportation Company trained soldiers from 3rd Infantry Division and Tennessee Army National Guard 230th Engineer Battalion, on the M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET), during an eight day, 80 hour course held at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, 6 September 2012.  The culmination of the course was for the students to complete a real mission of traveling to Camp Buehring (a four hour drive one-way in a HET) to load an M88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle, a tracked, armored tow truck for tanks, and return to Camp Arifjan.

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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