Where to find a Sherman tank serial number?


American Locomotive Co. (ALCO) - Small hatch M4(75) and M4A2(75)

M4 ALCO serial number    M4 ALCO serial number    M4 ALCO serial number

ALCO built Shermans have the Tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the left side rear towing lug. An unknown letter / number combination has been seen on the right rear tow lug of some. The collection of more examples might make it possible to decipher the meaning, if any.


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Baldwin Locomotive Works - Small hatch M4(75)

M4 Baldwin serial number    M4 Baldwin serial number

Baldwin built Shermans have the Tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the rear towing lugs. The serial number could also be found on the front towing lugs, but this information is not reliable, since the tank could have been repaired or upgraded with the differential housing from another one.

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Fisher - Small hatch M4A2(75)

M4A2 Fisher serial number    M4A2 Fisher serial number

M4A2 Fisher serial number

Fisher built Shermans have the Tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the rear towing lugs, it can also be found inside the dataplate frame, beside the driver's position.


M4A2 Fisher build number    M4A2 Fisher build number

From the beginning of the M4A2 production at Fisher, the Ordnance Serial Number was stamped on both tow lugs of the differential housing. Starting around July 1943 and the introduction of the E8543 "sharp nose" differential cover, Fisher Body stamped the serial number, preceded by an "S," on both edges of the part.


M4A2 Fisher build number

Fisher built Shermans have also been seen to have a loose build sequence number stamped on the left front (driver's side)

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Pullman Standard - M4(75) and M4A2(75)
Federal Machine and Welder - M4A2(75)

These manufacturers don't appear to have stamped the Serial Number on the exterior of the AFVs they produced. However, some Shermans that served with the French or German armies in the 1950s have been seen with the serial number stamped on the front glacis or differential housing

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Pacific Car and Foundry (PCF) - Small hatch M4A1(75)

M4A1 PCF    M4A1 PCF

Many welded hull Shermans have the tank's serial number stamped into one or both or the rear towing lugs. To date, we have not seen this on a single example of the many M4A1s we have examined. All Shermans were provided with a dataplate that was affixed to the wall next to the driver's seat. The serial number was stamped into the upper right corner of the dataplate. Unfortunately, in many cases, the plates on surviving units are either rusted unreadable, or missing altogether. The Overloon M4A1 was found to have the Serial Number stamped inside the dataplate frame as seen above left. Serial Number 3714 indicates this tank would have been built by PCF in July 1943. 3714 was also seen stamped on the front glacis, just beside the bow machine gun.

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Lima Locomotive Works - Small hatch M4A1(75)

Lima logo    Lima logo

The tanks built by Lima LW can be seen with a logo and build number on the right front. While some Sherman manufacturers stamped the Serial Number on the rear towing lugs of their Shermans, Lima LW does not appear to have stamped it anywhere on the exterior of most of the AFVs they produced. However, the Serial Number could be found near the Lima logo on tanks manufactured through the end of the production run (last month of production).

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Ford - Small hatch M4A3(75)

M4A3    M4A3

Fords are perhaps the easiest Shermans on which to find the tank serial number. It was stamped on "the four corners of the upper hull." It can be found just below both of the hull lifting rings on the front, and in the areas indicated by the red circles in the rear.

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Pressed Steel Car - Small hatch M4(75), Small and large hatch M4A1s

PSC large hatches    PSC large hatches

While Chrysler & Fisher stamped the Serial Number on the rear towing lugs of their large hatch Shermans, Pressed Steel Car does not appear to have stamped it anywhere on the exterior of the AFVs they produced. However, some Shermans that served with the French or German armies in the 1950s have been seen with the serial number stamped on the front glacis or differential housing, as seen in the left side photo. PSC built M4s and M4A1s (both small and large hatch) have been seen to have a loose build sequence number stamped on either side of the hull in the rear. In the event the serial number cannot be found, the sequence number has some value.

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Chrysler - M4A4(75), M4 Composites, M4(105), M4A3(105), M4A3(76)W

M4(105)    M4(105)

Chrysler built Shermans have the Tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the rear towing lugs.


M4(105)    M4(105)

Some Chrysler built Shermans have been seen to have the Serial Number stamped in the driver's compartment, 6 inches (15 centimeters) left from the dataplate.

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Fisher - Large hatch M4A2(75), M4A2(76), M4A3(75)W, M4A3(76)

M4A2 Fisher serial number    M4A2 Fisher serial number

Fisher built Shermans have the tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the rear towing lugs (left), as well as on both edges of the differential housing. The diff stamping is preceded by an "S" for "serial number." Barracuda's can be seen above - S48935.


M4A3(75)W

The Serial Number
can also be found inside the dataplate frame, beside the driver's position.


M4A3(75)W

Fisher built Shermans have been seen to have a loose build sequence number stamped on the left front (driver's side). These numbers have a letter prefix. The "A" on Barracuda above indicates the tank was built as an M4A3(75)W. Other letters noted are "E" for M4A3E2 (Jumbo), "M" for M4A3(76) and "W" for M4A2(76). While the number stamped on Barracuda is 325, it would actually have been the 321st M4A3(75) made by Fisher (accepted in March, 1944). Thus, our characterization of the build sequence number as "loose." This number can be useful in the event the tank's serial number can't be found.
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Fisher - M10 and M10A1 Tank Destroyers, M36 Tank Destroyers

M10 Fisher serial number    M10 Fisher serial number

M10 Fisher serial number

Fisher built Shermans have the Tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the rear towing lugs, it can also be found inside the dataplate frame, beside the driver's position.


M10 Fisher serial number    M10 Fisher serial number

From the beginning of the M10 Tank Destroyer production at Fisher, the Ordnance Serial Number was stamped on both tow lugs of the differential housing. Starting around July 1943 and the introduction of the E8543 "sharp nose" differential cover, Fisher Body stamped the serial number, NOT preceded by an "S," on both edges of the part.


M10 Fisher serial number

Fisher built Shermans have also been seen to have a loose build sequence number stamped on the left front (driver's side).

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M36 Tank Destroyers converted by American Locomotive (ALCO)

M10 Fisher serial number    M10 Fisher serial number

M10A1s converted to M36s by ALCO have the Tank's Ordnance Serial Number stamped into the left side rear towing lug.

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M36 Tank Destroyers converted by Massey-Harris (M-H)

M10 Fisher serial number 

M10 Fisher serial number    M10 Fisher serial number

M10s and M10A1s converted to M36s by Massey-Harris have the serial number stamped near the headlamps sockets. The marking consists of Massey-Harris "conversion serial number" (for example, M H 121)  and the Ordnance Serial Number (for example, SERIAL NO 421). The Registration Number (which always starts with 40 on Tank Destroyers) was stamped during a 1950 era remanufacture, it is located near the front hull lifting rings, on the front hull plate or side hull.

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M7B2 Priests

M7 Priest    M7 Priest

Some M7B2 Priests have been seen to have the Serial Number stamped above the differential housing bolt strip
.


M7 Priest

Some M7B1 and M7B2 Priests have been to have a loose build sequence number stamped on either side of the hull in the rear.

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M74 Tank Recovery Vehicles

M74

The M74 TRV serial number is stamped on the side hull plate, near the front lifting ring, on the driver's side.



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