Carbon Monoxide Exposure Armored Fighting Vehicles

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EKB
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Carbon Monoxide Exposure Armored Fighting Vehicles

Post by EKB » 15 Jan 2022 01:09

...

Crew members from an M4A3 of ‘Charlie’ Company, 761st Tank Battalion, photographed in the maintenance area at Nancy, France on November 5, 1944. What caused their deaths in battle, three days later, is a matter of dispute but exhaust poisoning appears to be the best explanation. Author Joe W. Wilson, Jr. described the scene:

“Staff Sergeant Harvey Woodard and his tank crew were killed under mysterious circumstances. Not a single man inside the tank had been hit by a shell fragment or by a machine gun bullet. When the tank was opened, every man in the crew was sitting in his assigned position, with eyes staring, pupils dilated, and no fear showing on their faces. But every man in the crew was dead. The tank was buttoned up and had no damage to the exterior or interior. All was in order. What snuffed out Woodard and his crew? That was the question that nobody could answer with certainty. The cause could have been concussion from a burst of HE (high explosive) just over the turret top, which sucked out all the air and sent shock waves through the tank. More than likely it was carbon monoxide exposure, which was common in those tanks.”

SC-196110-Sa_A copy.jpg
SC-196106-Sa_A copy.jpeg
SC-196107-Sa_A copy.jpg
SC-196108-Sa_A copy.jpg
SC-196109-Sa_A copy.jpg

R.I.P.
Sgt. Harvey Woodard (Howard, Georgia). Commander.
T/4 Claude Mann (Chicago, Illinois). Driver.
Cpl. Carlton Chapman (Pembroke, Virginia). Turret gunner.
Pvt. L. C. Byrd (Tuscaloosa, Alabama). Cannoneer.
Pvt. Nathaniel Simmons (Beaufort, South Carolina). Co-driver/bow gunner.

Maybe Rich has access to the official investigation. I did not read it.
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EKB
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Re: Carbon Monoxide Exposure Armored Fighting Vehicles

Post by EKB » 15 Jan 2022 01:22

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SC-196105-Sa_A.jpg
The M4A3 (76mm) assigned to Sgt. Harvey Woodard and his crew. A relatively new vehicle at the time as there were many elderly 75mm Shermans still in service with other tank battalions. The only visible distinguishing mark on this tank was a number ’79’ on the front plate; probably a load sequence number for shipping by LST or railroad car.

Capt Irvin McHenry (center) Comp C of 761st TB (5 Nov 44) SC 196103-S.jpg
Standing in the center Capt. Irvin McHenry, officer commanding Company ‘C’ of 761st Tank Battalion.

SC-196104-Sa_A copy.jpg
1st Lt. Jay Johnson, was a battalion motor officer. Seriously wounded by an exploding shell.

Capt. Garland Adamson, MD 761st TB (5 Nov 44) SC 196102-S copy.jpg
Capt. Garland Adamson, M.D. was the battalion surgeon.
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Gorque
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Re: Carbon Monoxide Exposure Armored Fighting Vehicles

Post by Gorque » 15 Jan 2022 03:36

Wow! They, most likely, would not have known what had killed them. Very sad.

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