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: 21 Sep 1943 In the most bitter combat of the New Georgia campaign [Central Solomons], Japanese lose 600 men in an unsuccessful defense of Arundel Island, withdraw on 22 Sep.   

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

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.