Photo of M-18 Hellcat on Cebu, March 1945

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Mil-tech Bard
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Photo of M-18 Hellcat on Cebu, March 1945

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 09 Apr 2013 21:25

Attached is a photo of a US Coast Guard Manned LST landing an M-18 Hellcat on Cebu, the Philippines in March 1945.

The only M-18 Hellcat battalion in the Philippines at that time was the 637th TD Battalion and it's after action report for the period lists all it's companies on the Luzon at the time.

Who was operating that M-18?

Cebu was a 8th Army Operation with the Americal Division --supported by the 716th Tank Btn -- landing on Cebu, 26 March 1945, and seizing the city and airfield by 28 March 1945.

See --

G Company, 182nd Infantry Regiment
http://www.182ndinfantry.org/history/ex ... cific/cebu

Invasion Orders
http://www.182ndinfantry.org/history/items/show/91

MacArthur's armor operations were weird in that the TO&E was breeched as much as honored. The 6th Army's Infantry Division Cavalry Troops used both M5 Stuarts and LVT(A)1 in lieu of M-8 armored cars repeatedly, for example.

This variation was true with the 8th Army Victor Operations even more than most.

I see a few possibilities --

1) 716th Tank Btn
2) The anti-tank companies of the American Division's 132d and 182d regiments
3) 658th Amphibious Vehicle Btn.

The 716th Tank Battalion AAR on CARL-DL says only B Company -- M4 Shermans -- participated. So it was not the light tank D-company using M-18's.

AFAIK, the Americal didn't get M-18's in it's anti-tank companies like the 77th and 96th Divisions, as they was a 10th Army/US Army Mid-Pacific TO&E variation.

The US Army Amphibian Battalion at Cebu was the 658th, which had converted from a tank destroyer in April 1944 at Ft. Ord.

See --

http://www.tankdestroyer.net/index.php? ... Itemid=101

Maybe they landed with a M-18 they copted from Leyte and didn't mention it in the AAR (also at the CARL-DL)?

All the Armored casualties for the 8th Army were reported under the 20th Armored Group for 26 DECEMBER 1944 TO 8 MAY 1945) according to

"REPORT Of THE COMMANDING GENERAL
EIGHTH U. S. ARMY
ON THE LEYTE-SAMAR OPERATION
(Including Clearance of the Visayan Passages)
26 DECEMBER 1944 .. 8 MAY 1945"

The only places I think you could solve the mystery of this M-18 is in the 4th, 13th or 20th Armored Group AAR's.

The 20th was on Leyte for some of the Victor Operations before going to Okinawa, the 13th was on both Leyte & Luzon and the 4th -- according to Shelby Stanton's book on the US Army WW2 order of battle -- had transferred to the Philippines from Hawaii in the build up for Operation Downfall.
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Mil-tech Bard
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Posts: 661
Joined: 06 Jan 2010 15:50

Re: Photo of M-18 Hellcat on Cebu, March 1945

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 09 Apr 2013 22:03

It seems that the 20th Armored Group is the place to go for this information.

The 20th did not begin loading for Okinawa until 18 May 1945.

See this link --

http://www.fold3.com/image/#296598204

And the attached image.
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