Hobby Master 1-72 Ground Power
HG4709 M7 Priest HMC Cannon Co. 34th Division, Rabat, Morocco 1943

The U.S. Army required a fully-tracked Howitzer Motor Carriage capable of keeping up with armored divisions. The lower chassis and suspension of the M3 Lee and later the M4 Sherman was selected to have a 105mm Howitzer placed on top with a crew area open to the elements. In 1942 the new SPG was delivered as the M7 HMC (Howitzer Motor Carriage). British forces referred to the M7 as the “Priest” because of the high rounded .50- caliber Machine Gun position resembled the pulpit of an Anglican priest.

On November 8, 1942 the 34th ID “Red Bull Division” landed at Algiers and captured the port and airfields. For the rest of 1942 the 34th fought numerous engagements in Tunisia as more Allied forces were continually arriving. In April 1943 they began an assault on Hill 609 and it wasn’t until May 1, 1943 before the objective was taken. On May 20, 1943 the 34th ID took part in a victory parade through Tunis before moving to Rabat, Algeria to take part in “Operation Husky”.

Specifications for the M7 HMC (Howitzer Motor Carriage)
Type - Armored Artillery
Crew – 7
Performance
Engine - Continental R975 C1, 9 cylinder., Gasoline 400 hp Maximum Speed - 39 km/h Power/weight - 17.3 hp/t Range – 190 km
Dimensions
Length - 6.02 m Width - 2.87 m Height - 2.95 m Weight - 23000 kg
Armor
Maximum - 108 mm Minimum: 13 mm
Suspension: Vertical volute spring suspension (VVSS)
Armament
Main - 1 x 105 mm Howitzer M2A1 Secondary - 1 x .50cal (12.7 mm) M2HB MG