Light Tank M22 Locust1-13

M22: General
Date of first acceptance April 1943 Total acceptances 830
Manufacturer Marmon-Herrington Co. Crew
3 men:
  • Commander/loader in turret right
  • Gunner in turret left
  • Driver in hull left front
M22: Dimensions
Combat weight 16,400lbs
Height 72.5"
Length without gun 155"
Gun overhang forward 1"
Width 88.5"
Tread 70.3"
Ground clearance 10"
Fire height 58"
Turret ring diameter 47.45"
Ground pressure, zero penetration 7.1psi
M22: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
37mm Gun M6 M53 in turret 50 rounds 360°
+30° to -10°
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 37mm gun 2,500 rounds 360°
+30° to -10°
Aiming equipment
Periscope M8 or M8A1 with telescope M46 or M46A2 for gunner
M22: Armor
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .5"
Driver's head cover 1.0"
Lower front 1.0"
Upper sides .375"
Lower sides .5"
Rear .5"
Top .375"
Floor .5"
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 1.0"
Front 1.0"
Sides 1.0"
Rear 1.0"
Top .375" to .75"
.953cm to 1.9cm
M22: Automotive
Engine Lycoming O-435T; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, opposed gasoline
Horsepower Net: 162@2,800rpm
Gross: 192@2,800rpm
Torque Net: 332 ft-lb@2,100rpm
Gross: 360 ft-lb@2,100rpm
Fuel capacity 57gal
Transmission Manual, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse (synchromesh 3rd and 4th gears)
Steering Controlled differential, steering levers
Brakes Mechanical, external contracting
M22: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Vertical volute spring 2 bogies/track;
2 wheels/bogie
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
22-tooth front drive Trailing adjustable with volute spring at rear of track None
M22: Track
Outside guide, single dry pin, cast malleable iron
Width 11.25"
Pitch 3.0"
Shoes/track 106 Ground contact length 102.5"
M22: Performance
Max level road speed 35mph
Max trench 66"
Max grade 50% Max vertical obstacle 18"
Min turning diameter 38'
Max fording depth 36"
Cruising range ~110mi, roads
~180km, roads

The M22 light tank was intended for airborne use, and the C-54 Skymaster cargo aircraft was the original carrier plane. When transported by the C-54, the turret of the M22 was removed, and the hull was suspended below the plane via lifting brackets at the four corners of the hull. The turret of the Locust was designed to be easily removable for this reason, and British tests found that the tank could be reassembled in ten minutes or less using the aircraft's integral hoists. Combined with the fact that the laden C-54 would require a large runway, though, the reassembly process meant that achieving any measure of surprise was seriously hindered for the tanks. The British Hamilcar glider and later American aircraft like the C-82 Packet could carry the M22 ready for battle. The tank was never used operationally by US troops, but eight M22s were part of the British airborne force that assaulted enemy positions along the Rhine during Operation Varsity in March 1945.

The suspension of the M22 included strengthening braces running between the two bogie brackets and between the rear bogie and idler assembly. The commander and gunner had their own hatches, and the driver was protected by a protruding hood on the hull left front that was hinged at the top. The first 27 M22s featured a protected direct vision slot for the driver, which was replaced with a vision port which was closed with a steel plug. The steel plug closure system was similar to the driver's direct vision setup in the light tank M5. The sides of the driver's hood were also sloped on later tanks. The exhaust pipe for the M22 exited the engine compartment in the rear, and then curved up to the right rear fender of the tank, where the muffler rested.




  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1992. Reprinted with permission from Stuart, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1992, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  2. TM 9-724 Light Tank T9E1. Washington, DC: War Department, 17 November 1943.
  3. TM 9-1724A Ordnance Maintenance--Engine and Engine Accessories for Light Tank T9E1. Washington, DC: War Department, 6 August 1943.
  4. TM 9-250 37-mm Gun M6, Mounted in Combat Vehicles. Washington, DC: War Department, 3 August 1944.
  5. Chamberlain, Peter, and Chris Ellis. British and American Tanks of World War Two. Frome, England: Cassell & Co., 2000.
  6. Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, second edition 1944, volume I: Tank and Automotive. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Technical Division, 1 June 1945.
  7. Catalogue of Standard Ordnance Items, second edition 1944, volume II. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Technical Division, 1944.
  8. AGF Board No. 2. Development of Armored Vehicles, volume 1: Tanks. 1947.
  9. Roberts, Charles C., Jr. US Airborne Tanks 1939-1945. Yorkshire, England: Frontline Books, 2021.
  10. Flint, Keith. Airborne Armour: Tetrarch, Locust, Hamilcar and the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment 1938-50. Solihull, West Midlands, England: Helion & Co., Ltd., 2004.
  11. Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Co., 2000.
  12. Siemers, Cary. "USA's M22, Locust, Airborne Light Tank." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 25 Nov 2000. 31 Jan 2001 <>.
  13. Zuljan, Ralph. "M22 Locust." Second World War Armor. 16 Mar 2000. 31 Jan 2001 <>. Second World War Armor
Last updated 2 Dec 2023.
Questions? Comments? Corrections? Email me
© Copyright 2001-23 Chris Conners