The M26 was a long time in development and only just reached combat status during WW2. A small number were brought across to Europe under the Zebra Technical Mission which included tanks, spares and military and civilian observers. They were assigned to General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group and split between the 3rd and 9th Armored Division. They first saw combat in February 1945. The first Pershing loss was on 28 February to a Tiger but it was recovered and put back into operation.
An ordnance officer at the Combat Command (brigade) level in the 3rd Armored Division during World War II, Belton Y. Cooper, wrote a memoir about his experience. According to Cooper, ten Pershings were sent to the 3rd Armored Division beginning in February 1945. He claims they would have been sent sooner, had General George S. Patton not intervened. Patton favored the Sherman tank, contending it would require less gasoline and had better mobility. At the time Patton expressed his opinion, the inferiority of the Sherman's main gun and armor protection had yet to be demonstrated.