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These are the only real Military pictures Wayne Nelson had to offer.  Here is what he told me.

Wayne intially broke his back just before or just after Pearl Harbor.  Because of this, the military initially did not want him and he ended up in a factory onthe east coast making B-26's.  After he was fully healed, he decided that he had had enough of making planes and told the local Army recruiter he would either be taken into the military or he would quit his job.  The recruiter took him.

Wayne ended up as a communications teacher at Ft. Knox.  He taught them proper radio use, as well as being available for other aspects of training onthe M4 Sherman.   He noted that on several occasions he helped with gunnery classes, including being in the turret himself helping the recruits train.  He also said he ended up running around in the Shermans to teach communications stuff as well.

One interesting point that he brought up several times is that he remembers when the army was testing putting the 90mm gun on the M4A3 Sherman.  He said the turret they had cobbled up looked like a firefly's in that it had a big weight onthe back, and he said whenever they fired the gun, he felt that the breech-block was going to crush his chest against the turret.  He said it never did, just as he had been told it would not, but he said it scared the dickens out of him.  :)  He said that otherwise, it was a normal M4A3 sherman.  He could not really remember if the turret was a Firefly's, a Jumbo's, a regular M4 turret, or a T23 style.

wayne_tank_full_small.jpg (2500 bytes)

Wayne out with the tanks in December of 1944.

firing_line_small.jpg (1933 bytes)

Posed firing line picture of the following people, no date:

Banwell, Falgout, Royce, Hiderbrandt, and Hageman