American Legion Military Museum, Greenville
Backstory and Context
The building includes a static display of a 90MM gun that was used as both an anti-aircraft and anti-tank gun in World War II. At that time, the gun included a 15ft barrel and fired .50 caliber shells that could pierce 9 inches of armor at a range of 1000 yards. These guns cost around $50,000 to make back in 1940. The M1 also could be used in tanks such as M36 tank destroyer and the M26 Pershing tank. The Coast Guard briefly used these weapons from 1943-1946 as a coastal defense weapon.
During World War II, a new design included an improved mount and spring hammer on the breach that allowed for the gun to shoot up to 20 to 30 rounds per minute. The M-2 was created in 1942 after the military realized that they could not fight against tanks as the gun could not aim low enough. The upgraded M-2 allowed for the gun to fire 10 below its horizontal and had an electric-assist rammer. It would become the standard in 1943. Proximity fused shells were added in 1944.
Budanovic, Nikola. M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer in 33 Images. warhistoryonline. June 16, 2018. Accessed September 15, 2018. https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/after-dunkirk-french-fallout.html.
14 Main Guns: Things That Go Boom, Some Bigger than Others, but None Bad. theshermantank. November 22, 2015. Accessed September 16, 2018. http://www.theshermantank.com/tag/m3-90mm/.