Self Propelled Mount
The weapons company of a Marine regiment had a 75mm halftrack platoon. These halftracks, know as SPM's or Self-Propelled Mounts, had a very effective 75mm anti-tank gun. Officially they were known as "75mm Gun Motor Carriage (GMC) M3." On Tarawa at least Weapons Co., 2nd Marines and Weapons Co., 8th Marines had two SPMs each. One Marine from Weapons 2, Robert Cook, wrote a short account of his landing on Tarawa titled, "It Came to Pass, Memoirs of a WWII Marine — from Guadalcanal to Tarawa."
An SPM is just making it's way onto the narrow beach in the upper left corner. This halftrack may well be the number two track that made it Red Beach 2 but bogged down in the sand. The platoon leader ordered his crew to dig the track out but it took several hours before they were ready for action.1
A Marine SPM and crew from Weapons/2/2 on Saipan.
Two Marine SPMs on Tinian.
Please send an email if any more information is known.
1. Hammel and Lane, Bloody Tarawa, p. 106.
copyright 2006 T.O.T.W.
Created 19 May 2006