M5A1 761st tank battalion

This going to be another fix 'n restore-project. This time it is an AFV Club M5A1 early production, in need of some TLC.
And I can combine it with an idea I have been having for a long time; dedicate a build to those lesser known soldiers. Those that history has a tendency to forget.
So this will also be an homeage to the “black soldier”, represented in the form of the 761st tankbattalion, the first “black” unit to see combat and who distinguished themselves through that.

I will base my build upon this image:

Some unit history:




What I will be working with; the remnants of the AFV Club kit:

The lighter shade is dust. The real shade is seen on the glacisplate. Far too green.

As I started dusting more parts fell off.

No interior colour.


I built one not too long ago; an old M5A1 that I was intending to build into a Yugoslav Partisan Stuart with a Flak 38 gun, but then I realized I should’ve gotten an M3A3 instead.


I built it and it was a so-so build for me; then I built the M8 Scott HMC, using the lessons I learned from the M5A1; that one came out much better, despite the shortcomings of the early Tamiya kit.



I’m curious as to when folks started adding the Scott name to the M8 HMC? Say prior to about five or so years ago nobody ever applied that name to the vehicle.

Great subject and unit choice Ron. I’ve seen several Sherman’s done in Black Panther markings, but never before a Stuart. I believe that Bison/Star makes a set of decals for some tanks from that battalion.

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Very nice job Ron and great subject matter too. I always wanted to do a Sherman from this unit and seeing how I have about 8-10 Sherman’s in my stash I may have to dedicate one to that unit.
I never heard the nickname Scott before. You learn something new all the time on this site!

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Never heard the Scott name before.

On November 11, 1944. The US Ordnance Department recommended that the M8 HMC be named the Scott, after General Winfield Scott, but it wasn’t truly adopted.

General Scott was known as “Grand Old Man of the Army” and “Old Fuss and Feathers”.

He was instrumental in the victory against Mexico during the Mecxican-American War and helped created the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which added California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma and parts of Wyoming to the United States.


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I read that too, but never heard of it before. And I definitely know who Gen. Scott was, it’s required knowledge in the 3rd Cav!

“Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel!”


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Here is the decal set from Star Decals for 761st Tank Btn. Shermans.

761 TB M4 Decals

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Photo’s of 761st vehicles are few and of Stuarts I can only find the shown 4, but it looks like all but the original M3 were used. Markings vary quite a bit too, but nothing out of the ordinary, it would seem.
I find the mudguards are bridgeclassification on the M3A3 noteworthy.
The M5A1 I am using as a guide seems to have some rope wound around the hull? And big letters on the sides.

If you plan on doing a combat zone tank, I’d suggest using this photo as your guide. The other photos may be from pre combat training.

The rope you mention is a steel tow cable and visible with the eye hanging near the right side drive sprocket. In US Tank Battalions after 1943, the M5 and M3 light tanks were all placed in D company, while A,B, and C companies were equipped with M4 Shermans. So your bumper codes would likely read 3A 761^ D-xx

It is the early production M5A1 I have, so I’ll use that.
The rope, or 4 of them, I meant go around the hull horizontally and along the side, partially covering the B-16 markings. (Blue arrows)

I have some more questions with regards to the image in question.
Is that an early gunshield? Green arrow
If the Stuart was only in D-company, then why the B-16 numbers? Red arrow.
It seems to be an M5A1, due to the little “hump” over the enginecompartment. Yet I think I see a lot of stowage on the rear. Yellow arrow.
And the wheels are the closed/disk version. Orange arrow.
Picture is taken in the summer. That would mean either training, up to 1944, or Germany 1945.

That photo is most likely from pre war stateside training. From what Ive read, they trained for two years before being sent overseas in summer 1944. Yes, that is certainly an M5A1 tank.

Here is the TO&E for a US Army tank battalion in Nov 1944 when the 761st went into combat. The “Light Tank Company” is D company.

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Luckily this version was widely used throughout Europe '44-'45, so I can stick with that.
Markings seem to be sparce, apart from the standard.

The more combat experience a unit had, the less prominent that their markings tended to become over time in the ETO. If you compare 2nd Armored Division from the time that they landed in Normandy shortly after D-Day to how they looked by VE Day 11 months later, it was a big change. The stars and large tactical ID numbers and letters pretty much disappeared except for air ID markings.