The running gear of the M55 and the 155mm self-propelled gun M53 was based on that of the M46 and M47 tanks. Upgrades to the artillery vehicles eventually encompassed components common to the M48 tank, but the running gear never changed. The three square covers in the front plate are transmission access port covers. The fender-mounted duct directly behind the headlight group is the front air exhaust duct, and the rear air exhaust duct is visible just in front of the turret. The howitzer is stowed in its travel lock, and a machine gun is mounted at the commander's cupola on the turret roof. Air intake louvers are visible on the front slope just inboard of the fender-mounted stowage boxes.
The gunner's exit door is open on the turret's right side, and stowage mounts for spare track blocks are attached to the front of the turret. The mantlet for the telescope M99 is attached to the ordnance mantlet. A small guard wheel can just be seen between the front drive sprocket and the first road wheel.
The rear air exhaust duct was covered by a protective mesh screen. More details of the suspension can be viewed in this image as well.
This view is peering into the open driver's door on the turret's left side. The driver's seat and wobble stick control common to the M46 and M47 tanks can be seen in the foreground. The main instrument panel is attached to the turret roof. The howitzer mount and its reoil and equilibrator cylinders can be seen behind the driver's seat.
The turret rear doors are open as well on this vehicle. The stabilization spade is lowered, and the left taillight can be seen just above the fender. The final bumper spring is visible above the trailing idler wheel. Inside the turret, a projectile stowage rack is in the rear corner, and the projectile rammer and spade hoist is centered in the turret opening.
A closer view of the rear turret interior is offered here. The commander's seat can be seen under his cupola.
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© Copyright 2001-08 Chris Conners