The first tanks of the M5 series were produced in April 1942, and a new modification, the M5A1, was preferred over other variants. After the M24 Chaffee was developed, the M5A1 tanks were deemed obsolete and were exported to other countries, including China. A total of 100 tanks of this type were supplied to the Kuomintang. During the Civil War (1946–1949), many of these vehicles were captured by the PLA.
Characteristics are specified for vehicles with crews trained to 100%.