Friday, January 20, 2012

The Future ALCO museum in Schenectady



Duncan W. Fraser, President of ALCO (left) and S. E. Skinner, President of Oldsmobile inspect a welded patch on an M-4 tank in Nancy, France, December 1944. Courtesy of the National Archives.

A reader of this blog tipped me off to the fact that the future American Locomotive Company museum has found its space at 1910 Maxon Road, Schenectady. They are currently in fund-raising mode. My grandfather was an ALCO worker before joining the Army in 1943. He welded tanks and the secret M-7 mobile howitzer. This is discussed in the first couple chapters of my book.

The museum will focus on the company's locomotive production, but the director tells me that they will also have a M-7 on display. To learn more about ALCO's wartime efforts see my series of posts on Schenectady in WWII.

Schenectady ALCO workers assembling an M-7, 1943.

Proud ALCO workers with a completed M4 Sherman tank.

A Schenectady-built M7 being tested (probably at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland).

3 comments:

  1. As it turned out, the M7 was a really bad tank. Good pics

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  2. The M-7 wasn't a tank, although the howitzer was mounted on a tank chassis. It was not designed to engage in a standard tank vs tank battle. It's purpose was to shell enemy tanks from a great distance. From what I have read it was especially effective in the Battle of El Alamein.

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  3. Hi Andrew,

    We have a webpage about ALCO built Sherman tanks...

    http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/manufacturer/m4alco/m4alco_variants.html

    We would be very interested to know the source of the photo you have posted with the caption, "Proud ALCO workers with a completed M4 Sherman tank."

    This tank is a so called "M4 Composite" and it has previously been thought that these were only made by Chrysler. The fact that ALCO made some is "new" to the existing body of Sherman knowledge, and we would be very interested to obtain a copy of this photo with the official caption (if any).

    TIA,

    Joe DeMarco

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