Today in WW II: 15 Sep 1944 US Marines invade Peleliu, beginning a long and tough battle to wrest the island from the Japanese [15 Sep-27 Nov].   

M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer

The M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer was developed in the mid-1950s and was fielded in 1962. By the time of the Vietnam War it was considered too light for effective infantry support and was being phased out in favor of its sister vehicle, the 155mm M-109 SP Howitzer. However, some field force artillery units in Vietnam were equipped with the M108 even though replacement by the 155mm M109 was already in progress.

The M108 was too heavy to be lifted by helicopter limiting its support of highly mobile light infantry forces in Vietnam. Still, the M108 was employed effectively as area support and in support of ground operations where terrain permitted.

The M-108 was replaced by the 155mm M-109 SP Howitzer, built with the same hull, chassis and turret. The M-108 could carry many more rounds of the smaller 105mm ammunition than the M-109 with its larger 155mm shells.

The M-108 was powered by a Detroit diesel turbocharged 8V-71T 8cyl 405 hp engine.

M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer in Vietnam
M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer in Vietnam.

M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer at Armor Row,  Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo:  Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer at Armor Row, Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer at Armor Row,  Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo:  Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer at Armor Row, Camp Mabry, TX, 30 January 2006. Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.