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For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
M60A3 paint color in early 1980s
spzabt501
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 05, 2016
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 02:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Dan....yes I believe you are correct. Being 52,my memory fades when it comes to certain things, but that I'll never forget. Loved it there...great place to be as an 18 year old!
Our M113s were also in MERDC but with out the sand color-we never used it. During one of the Reforger exercises, we did a "Reconstitution Mission" for what ever reason, and were issued forest green M113s...interesting.



I was with 2-81 Armor at Erlangen for my first tour, and then 3-33 Armor at Kirchgoens for my second. While at Erlangen the entire battalion repainted from MASSTER (7th Army) Camo to MERDC, and at first we were following the book strictly using four colors. For some reason word came down to paint out the sand "lines" on vehicles that were already done, and not apply that color in the pattern to anything yet to be painted. So everything was left in a three color pattern of Forest Green, Field Drab, and Black. The only use of sand was to provided a backing for bumper numbers.

I saw the same thing on my second tour with 3-33, and from what I can determine it seemed to be a USAREUR thing, because when I was stateside, everything was in full four color MERDC with the sand lines included.

I never have been able to find out why USAREUR choose to delete the sand lines.

Later on of course, everything was done in NATO Tri-Color, but I was long gone when that started.
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 03:11 AM UTC

Quoted Text


I never have been able to find out why USAREUR choose to delete the sand lines.



I served in 5/77 Armor in Mannheim with the 8th ID in 1987-90. We painted our A3s several times before we transitioned to the M1A1 in mid 1989. We only used the sand paint for the background of the bumper numbers. We didn't make the black "seagull" shaped squiggles either.

No two tanks looked alike and were all painted overall forest green with the brown and black sprayed or hand painted similar to what a NATO pattern would be, but the brown was different.

This photo was taken at Graf in late spring of 1988


The same tank after a repaint during REFORGER September 1988.



This photo was taken at Hohenfels in the first half of 1988, probably April-May. Yes, that's me whizzing off the fender.

metalhead85
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New York, United States
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 03:15 AM UTC
Yes the sand paint was only used for bumper numbers, I remember that clearly.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 04:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Yes the sand paint was only used for bumper numbers, I remember that clearly.



it depends on the time frame folks are talking about. When veterans talk about "I was here and this is what we did" without referencing a date, it's hard for others to differentiate the details. Remember folks, what you did at one place and time might have been different earlier or later than when you were there. For my part, in the 2/11 ACR between 1977-80, we used "sand" as a color (primarily from spray cans, which was how the sand and black branches were applied). But we also had variations in color in my Squadron, since my Squadron CO wanted his vehicles to look different-- so for the summer verdant MERDC color scheme we used a lighter green to replace the brown, along with the "forest green" base color (I know because I was the S4 officer at the time, and was sent packing with a 5 ton all over West Germany to find enough paint to cover the Squadron-- I even got paint from the Air Force at Ramstein). We also went through at least one bumper number change, in which sand was used as a background color, from "2/11CAV" to "2/11ACR" sometime in 1979. So, if you guys would please add the dates you were stationed somewhere, it might help folks determining the details of what was done and when.
VR, Russ
joepanzer
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 05:02 AM UTC
So why would you post information about 77-80, when the headline clearly states early 80's, not late 70's?
Bravo1102
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 06:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text


I never have been able to find out why USAREUR choose to delete the sand lines.


According to the manual the sand highlight was supposed to be a color from the stable of paints that best matched the local dirt color. The sand didn't so it was left out rather than trying to match the local dirt color. Some said it looked like white stripes that made the vehicles stand out. But dark yellow was okay in the preceding schemes?

Riiiiight, they say don't do it, so don't do it.

Many areas in the eastern US have sand and clay so the sand color worked like it was supposed to. In areas with evergreens it was decided it was not necessary to change from the summer to fall verdant scheme.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 06:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So why would you post information about 77-80, when the headline clearly states early 80's, not late 70's?



Just using it as an example. My point is, through the decade from 1979-1989, the M60A3 could have been found in many different schemes, depending on the theater, location and command directives. For instance, if you were in Korea in 1987-88, your A3 might have been in MERDC. If you were in Kirchgoens in 82 or Gelnhausen in 86, you might have had a different scheme altogether. If you'd read the entire string, you'd have seen early on that I was an M60A3 transition officer in 1980, which last time I checked, WAS the very early 80s. The 11th ACR was one of the first regiments to receive the A3 in Europe which came in all green, but was soon repainted to MERDC. My point is, if you are a veteran, just to say we "did it this way when I was here" without the date is misleading-- it may not have always been the way it was done-- things change over time. Please remember to include dates with locations and experiences, that way Greg and others can better pinpoint what his Dad's vehicle may have looked like at a specific time and place. This is a general observation that applies to other posts as well.
VR, Russ
joepanzer
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 09:57 AM UTC
I believe that:

unless otherwise noted, people were responding to their service in the early 80's in Germany, based on the title of the thread.

Secondly, I believe the original poster's question was answered with links and suitable photos. At which point, it became a bunch of folks reminiscing, as opposed to answering the dude's question.

Myself?
D Co, 1/33ar, later 3/8 Cav, Gelnhausen, FRG 1986-88.
M1Ips/M1A1a
spzabt501
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 01:45 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

So why would you post information about 77-80, when the headline clearly states early 80's, not late 70's?



Just using it as an example. My point is, through the decade from 1979-1989, the M60A3 could have been found in many different schemes, depending on the theater, location and command directives. For instance, if you were in Korea in 1987-88, your A3 might have been in MERDC. If you were in Kirchgoens in 82 or Gelnhausen in 86, you might have had a different scheme altogether. If you'd read the entire string, you'd have seen early on that I was an M60A3 transition officer in 1980, which last time I checked, WAS the very early 80s. The 11th ACR was one of the first regiments to receive the A3 in Europe which came in all green, but was soon repainted to MERDC. My point is, if you are a veteran, just to say we "did it this way when I was here" without the date is misleading-- it may not have always been the way it was done-- things change over time. Please remember to include dates with locations and experiences, that way Greg and others can better pinpoint what his Dad's vehicle may have looked like at a specific time and place. This is a general observation that applies to other posts as well.
VR, Russ



Didn't mean to stir up any controversy over saying something about the use of the sand colored paint. Really I didn't!

More to the point, I did 3 tours in FRG: 1971-76 at Erlangen with 3-37 Armor (re-flagged 2-81 Armor), 1978-81 at Kirchgoens with 3-33 Armor, and finally 1983-85 at Weisbaden with E/1-10 CAV (The 4th Brigade (Fwd) at Weisbaden deactivated with most people being reassigned to 8th ID units, or to V Corps depending on need or
MOS).

Funny, I was around long enough to see vehicle colors go from Olive Drab, to MASSTER, to MERDC. Wasn't around long enough to see any of those "new-fangled" M1's, M2's, or M3's come into large scale service though. 3rd ID and the two Cav Regiments got them first I think, but may be wrong about that.

Kevlar06
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 02:57 PM UTC
No controversy as far as I'm concerned. . I was just trying to remind folks that it's helpful to add the dates they were someplace, as things might be different at different times in different places. Greg got his answer on the first page, when his Dad confirmed his exact location and unit. Before that, there was some doubt about when, where and what unit. Then there were some other questions about A3 paint in general. Lots of folks added info they experienced. Some with dates, units and places, others without. Nothing wrong with that, I was just trying to remind folks that a date is important in the discussion, because as you said, things change. Some saw many changes, others, only a few.

This is a little off topic-- On another note, I've been approached by one of the moderators about writing a column sharing experiences with the "real thing". I'm a little apprehensive about that, as there are so many veterans here, all with interesting experiences. I'm not exactly sure how to go about putting those experiences together in a cogent format that might be of import to a modeling site. And I certainly would not want to monopolize such a discussion with just my mediocre stories. I'd be appreciative of any ideas on this topic that any of you might have..what do you think? PM me if you have any ideas.
My apologies to Greg for "hijacking" this thread. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming....
VR, Russ