M-3 Gun Motor Carriage
The M3 Gun Motor Carriage (GMC), known as T-12 pre-standardization, was a mobile tank-destroyer based on the White M3 Halftrack with a mounted M1897 or M2 75mm field gun. The gun and its shield were mounted in the cargo space of the halftrack, positioned to fire forward over the drivers compartment. The windshield area and windshield cover were modified to enable the gun to project to the front.
The M3 Gun Motor Carriage was standardized in November 1941 and was used in the defense of the Philippines as well as in the Operation Torch invasion of North Africa in 1942. The lightweight 75mm gun did well against thinly armored Japanese tanks, but German armor was much tougher and the 75mm cannon fire did not penetrate. The M3 GMC was used until mid-1944 after which it was considered obsolete.
This vehicle was also called M3 75mm Self-propelled Mount (SPM) by the special weapons companies of the USMC.
For a time during World War II the M3 GMC was used as the insignia for Tank Destroyer Forces. AR 600-35, dated 13 March 1943, specified the design was a "75-mm gun, motor carriage M3, in gold color metal." The insignia was rescinded by Change 2, AR 600-35, dated 28 November 1944.
Tank Destroyer Forces Insignia
Today in WW II: 11 Oct 1939 Letter signed by Albert Einstein is delivered to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging the United States to rapidly develop the atomic bomb before Germany does, the inspiration for the Manhattan Project. More ↓
11 Oct 1942 Battle of Cape Esperance: US and Japanese naval forces clash off northwest coast of Guadalcanal. US victory opens supply lines for Allies, prevents Japanese reinforcement.
11 Oct 1942 Wave of relentless Luftwaffe air attacks against Malta begins, continuing for 17 days with heavy losses of British and German planes and pilots.
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M-3 Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) with 75mm Howitzer Specifications
||8 ft, 2 in.
||7 ft, 1 in.
||20 ft, 6 in.
||White 160AX 6 cyl. gasoline
The M-3 GMC carried 59 rounds of 75mm ammunition in the cargo area with the gun. The M3 GMC was used by the U.S. Army in North Africa and Europe as well as by the USMC in the Pacific.
Thanks to Bukvoed for help with this page and proper ID of the M3 GMC.
Recommended Book About the M3 Gun Motor Carriage
Almost invisible in the thick jungle vegetation, an M3 GMC supports Marine operations on Hill 660, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, December 1943 - January 1944. The barrel of the 75mm gun points to the left, just left of center.
M3 75mm Gun Motor Carriage halftracks, airbase security, North Africa during WW II.
M3 75mm Gun Motor Carriage, Special Weapons Company, 2nd Marine Division, Tinian, 30 July 1944.
M3 75mm Gun Motor Carriage, Italy, 1945. Second unit is to the right.