US Marine Tanks In Korean War

I know the Pershings the USMC initially used were in olive drab, presumably because there was no time to repaint them. But what color were Shermans, also olive drab or forest green? I am thinking of the first year of the war specifically.

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All the tanks used by both the US Army and USMC in Korea were pulled from WW2 stocks, so they were all Olive Drab. The M4A3E8s and M26s were painted the same; I think the M46 Pattons that replaced the Pershings came from stateside, so they had the darker shade of OD.

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I was under the impression the Marine Sherman’s were from active units/ in use and it was the M26 pulled from stocks.

Did come across this photo of flame Sherman’s.

Looks like a mix of colors?

Could very well be. The vehicles were definitely older vehicles that saw action in WW2 and were stored in yards postwar, with units just having enough tanks to operate at full combat strength and the excess in storage. A lot of units were deactivated after the war and there was a massive drawdown of forces after 1945. We had over 12 million servicemen in 1945 when the war ended. By 1947, that number was cut down to little over 1.5 million.

With that, tens of thousands of pieces of excess equipment; from small arms to tanks and aircraft were either scrapped, stored or sold to allied countries. Then the Korean War pops off in 1950, and you have to redeploy these forces, plus enlist more personnel - these soldiers will obviously need weapons and equipment, and units won’t have the extra quantities at hand, so they go into the stockpiles, either in the US or in Europe and pick all the gear that was stored.

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The Marines didn’t use the M4A3E8 during WW2. That came after and probably when replacing worn out M4A3’s from the current production line/existing stock.

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MC went from 474,680 in 1945 to 155,679 in 1946 and by 1950 down to 74,396. :scream:

Did they use any in Korea? I only recall seeing photos on the Marines using M4A3 105mm HVSS tanks, some with the coaxial flame gun, not 76mm E8s. Aside from their using M26s, M26A1s, and M46s in addition to the 105mm/flame Shermans.

Now that you mention it, I think outside the reserve unit tanks (need to double check that now too) I don’t think we had any 76mm tanks.

SRD35C1166 1:35 Star Decals - Korean War USMC Shermans: M4A3 105mm Dozer M4A3 | eBay

I thought the Army had 105mm tanks too, but the only aftermarket decal set for the Korean War I found was this.

They did but I think they only used them in WW2.

They did- the 105mm howitzer armed variant of the Pershing, the M45. Only a small amount (by US standards) were made, and a few saw combat in Korea in 1950. I don’t believe that there were any 105mm howitzer armed tanks after the M45.

Sherman M4A3 (105mm) HVSS 1:35 Dragon Model Kit 6354 Sealed Box Un-made | eBay

I bought one of these kits, after seeing how impressive the Scalemates instructions showed the construction. I have not started building it, but it sure looks good, even better than the new Tamiya M4A3E8 tank. The kit dates from 2006, and I am surprised Dragon hasn’t released the other M4A3E8 tank versions.

Dragon has released several M4A3E8 kits starting back in the early 90’s

besides the kit that you bought


I don’t think I’d buy one of those Dragon HVSS kits. The suspension is not great and fairly weak, while the tracks are 1990s quality and a bit of a pain to assemble. For an M4A3 (76) HVSS I would probably buy Asuka — the JGSDF kit should be a good one to build an American tank in Korea from. If you want a 105 mm tank, though, you would have to do some converting with a turret from another kit and a separate set for the 105 mm barrel, mantlet, etc. because unfortunately, Asuka hasn’t decided to make any of those yet.

Or you could buy a Tamiya M4A3 (105) VVSS kit and put Asuka HVSS on it, making the other modifications yourself (wide mudguards, torsion bars on the engine deck, first-aid kit, etc.)


I think the Asuka HVSS suspension sets include the fenders.


There are two sets with different tracks (rubber band type), T80 & T84.
A third set contains indy-link T66 tracks


Cool, I didn’t know that — I’ve never bought one of these sets, but was impressed with the HVSS on one of the Asuka Sherman kits I built.

I hadn’t seen them packaged like this before either …

Oh, I knew they sold them like this — but not that they include the wider mudguards :slight_smile:


SO, guess it’s safe to say that out of all the model makers offering the Sherman platform, that Asuka/Tasca is tops, IMO.

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Just for the range of variants available already, IMHO. Dragon has a lot too, but Asuka’s kits are much more refined than Dragon’s. The main areas where Asuka’s are lacking a little is that the cast texture is usually very understated, and that there are few or no casting marks even when they’re in prominent places. Well, and there are variants you can get from Dragon but not Asuka, like any 105 mm tanks as well as non-hybrid M4s.