Pre-Priest Photoshoot

Official caption: (early 1942)

The M-7 is the Army’s newest tank destroyer and is really a “killer.” Being tested for desert warfare at Iron Mountains, California. It carries both a 105mm Howitzer and a 50 caliber gun. Lieutenant M. Hutchison of Enterprise, Alabama is on the extreme right. Corporal L. Roberts from Graham, Texas is at post behind the Howitzer. Corporal Downing, whose home is Dekalb, Missouri, is in the turret.

U.S. Army Signal Corps Image now LOC LC-DIG-fsa-8b04892 https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b04892

Of course, those who are tank and SPG versed will recognize that the T32 Motor Carriage M7— dubbed the “Priest” in British service due to the pulpit-style .50 cal ring (and the fact that the Brits already had a similar SPG named the “Bishop”)– was a self-propelled gun rather than a tank destroyer, although a lucky hit by its 4.1-inch (105mm) M2A howitzer would smash just about any armored vehicle ever made before 1970.

The original chassis was based on the M3 Lee/Grant medium tank chassis.

Over 4,400 M7s would be produced, and the type remained in service with the U.S. Army through Korea and then with allied forces well into the 1960s and 70s including combat with the Israelis in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Some may still endure in the reserves of the armies of Pakistan and Taiwan, just in case they are ever required to prey (pray?) again.

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