M24 Light Tank, Chaffee at the Patton Museum in Ft Knox, Kentucky Chris Bobo
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee: Mark Holloway
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee: Mark Holloway
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee's radio and a M3 sub machine gun "Grease Gun": Mark Holloway
M24 Light Tank, Chaffee's coaxial machine gun: Mark Holloway
Hobby Master 1/72 Armor 3601:
Hobby Master 1/72 Armor 3602:
After seeing how the M5 Light Tanks did with British forces in the Western Desert the US Ordnance Department and Cadillac, in April 1943, begin work on a new light tank with a 75 mm gun.8,9,10
The M24 was named after US Army tank pioneer General Adna R. Chaffee.6,11
The armor was welded. The track was center guided and the tank used a torsion bar suspension. The engines were mounted on rail for easy maintenance. Each engine was identical and were interchangeable. The engines were the same engines as used in Cadillac automobiles.6 There was a bulkhead between the fighting compartment and the engine.6
There was a Cletrac controlled differential installed in the front of the hull for steering and braking.6 A synchronizer was incorporated in the transfer unit and the M24 was capable of 8 speeds forward and 4 reverse.5 In reverse the M24 could get up to 18 mph.5
The M24 used the same 75 mm gun that was originally designed for mounting in the B-25 Mitchell bomber for anti-ship use.4,8,11 It had a concentric recoil system which saved turret space.1 The firing trigger for the 75 mm was on the elevation hand wheel and for the machine gun on the power traverse control.9
There was recoil guard for the gunner and loader.9
For travel there was a lock that fastened to a bracket in the turret roof.9
The gun and a .30 cal machine gun were mounted in a Combination Gun Mount, M64.5,9 Ammo was stored in water protected containers in the floor.5,9
The hull machine gun had a bag that captured the expended casings.9 The gun was fed by a supply box on the left of the radio operator.9 There was a spring that helped counter balance the machine gun.9
The AA machine gun could be fire manually or electronically.6 The antiaircraft gun was mounted on a pintle at the rear of the turret.9
The 75 mm used a hydraulically operated stabilizer.6,9 It could fire a 14.4 lb shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,050'/sec.7,9
The 2" mortar was located on the right front side of the turret.9
In the front hull the driver sat on the left and the assistant driver / radio operator on the right with each having driving controls.6,9 In the turret the gunner and loader were on the right and the commander on the left.6,9 Originally it was intended to have only a four man crew with the assistant driver moving to the turret to load the gun.6,9 The M24 had no turret basket, as the seats for the crew were suspended from the base ring.5,6,9
The gunner used a combination telescope-periscope sight for sighting the main armament.9
The hatches for the driver and assistant driver could be opened regardless of the turret position.1,9 There was an escape hatch placed in the floor of the hull.5
Two pilot models (T24) were delivered in October 1943 by the Cadillac Motor Division.9
The Ordnance Department immediately ordered 1,000 before service tests had begun and then raised to 5,000 vehicles.1,8,9
Was Standardized in May 19448 / July 1944.1,5 First delivered in late 1944.
Manufacturer: Cadillac Motor Car Division5
M24: 4,0706,9, 4,3711
Manufacturer: American Car & Foundry9, Cadillac Motor Car Division (GMC)7, Cadillac (Detroit)6,9, Massey-Harris (Milwaukee)6,7
M41 Howitzer Motor Carriage, "Gorilla"8: Engine moved to center of hull and 155 mm howitzer mounted at rear.8,11 250 were ordered but only 606 were completed when war ended and probably did not see action. Had crew of 12 with 8 of them riding in an ammunition carrier.
T6E1: Tank recovery vehicle.
T9 and T13: Utility vehicles. T9: Had bulldozer kit installed.
T22E1, T23E1, and T33: Cargo carriers.
T38 Mortar Motor Carriage: Carried 4.2" mortar.8,9 It was cancelled.8
T42 Cargo Tractor: Based on T33. Had torque transmission of the Hellcat.
T43 Cargo Tractor: Lighter version of T42.
T77E1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage: Had 6 0.5" machine guns mounted in a new designed turret.8 Was cancelled.8
T78: Was to mount a 90 mm antiaircraft gun.4
T81: Mounted a Bofors 40 mm antiaircraft gun with two .50 cal machine guns.4
T96: Was to mount a 155 mortar.4 Project cancelled at wars end.4
First delivered to Western Europe in November 1944.1 First saw action in Italy.
A small number was supplied to Britain in 1945 and were named Chaffee.1
Some M24s were used in crossing the Rhine in late 1944.9
After World War II
The M24s saw much service during the Korean War and were used by French forces in Indo-China.9,10,11