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    Sherman Tank arrives in Saratoga for display at NYS Military Museum



    Courtesy Story

    New York National Guard

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -A World War II-era Sherman tank that spent the past 22 months for refurbishment and repainting with New York Army National Guard maintenance personnel returns for public display at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs.

    The famed WWII armored vehicle spent just under ten years stored at the museum awaiting a proper display location and new paint job.

    The restoration project included welding broken parts as well as stripping and painting the tank. These tasks were a unique training exercise for the Allied Trade section of the New York Army National Guard machinists and mechanics from the State Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, or MATES, based at Fort Drum, New York.

    The restoration provides a unique maintenance training task as Soldiers refurbished the Sherman and other historic vehicles for display at other military locations in New York.

    WHO: Soldiers from the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES) at Fort Drum and Courtney Burns, Director of the New York State Military Museum.

    WHAT: The team from MATES will unload the 69-year old M4A3 tank from a giant flatbed transporter for display on a parking pad outside the museum.

    WHEN: Noon, Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2015

    WHERE: New York State Military Museum, 61 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

    Coverage Opportunity:
    New York State Military Museum Director Courtney Burns will be on hand to talk about the significance of the tank and plans for its future display. Video and still imagery of the team unloading the tank from the flatbed can be obtained as the tank is placed on its exhibit pad.

    News media should coordinate in advance with Eric Durr, Director of Public Affairs for the New York National Guard at 518-786-4581 for arrangements for desired live broadcasts during the noon hour.


    M4A3 "Sherman" Tank

    The M4A3 "Sherman" tank outside the New York State Military museum was formerly a display piece at the New York State Armory in Carthage, N.Y., prior to the armory closure. The tank sat outside the armory for approximately 20 years.

    The specific history of this vehicle has been lost. Presumably the tank was used by New York National Guard Soldiers of the 27th Armored
    Division or the 42nd Infantry Division during the 1950s.

    During World War II the New York Army National Guard Soldiers of Company A, 191st Tank Battalion employed M4 tanks during the invasion on Italy at Salerno in September 1943. The company was also part of the allied landings at Anzio, Italy in February 1943. In August 1944 the company invaded southern France as part of Operation Dragoon and fought its way into Germany.

    The tank received markings in its paint refurbishment to reflect service with the 191st Tank Battalion.

    The battalion had been formed by taking tank companies from four
    state National Guards and combining them into one battalion. Company A was originally known as the 27th Tank Company. At the end of World War II it was the only surviving National Guard tank battalion out of four organized for the war.

    The M4 Sherman tank was designed during the early days of World War II and upgraded with new guns and armor to meet a developing threat from German tanks. It was the most numerous tank of the war. The US Army used 19,247 Sherman tanks during World War II, while another 1,114 went to the Marine Corps and 17,814 were supplied to the British, Canadian and Free French armies. Another 4,102 tanks were supplied to the Soviet Union.

    The M4A3 was crewed by five Soldiers, a driver and co-driver (who also fired a 30 caliber machine gun firing forward) in the front of the tank and three men in the turret: the tank commander, loader/radioman and gunner. The tank was equipped with a 75 millimeter cannon, a 30 caliber machinegun in the turret and a 50 caliber machine gun on top for the commander to fire when necessary.

    The M4A3 was fast, with a speed of 25-30 miles-per-hour, and was the first tank to have a gun stabilized using a gyroscope which allowed the gunner to get on target faster. The M4 series of tanks were also mechanically reliable.

    When it first saw combat in 1942 the M4 was an equal to the German tanks it met on the battle field. By 1944 and 1945, however, the older style M4A3 tanks were outmatched by the German Panther and Tiger tanks. The American tanks had not been designed to fight enemy tanks one-on-one. American tankers used the speed of the M4, its ability to fire quickly, and their superior numbers to defeat German tanks on the battlefield.

    M4 tanks continued to serve in the US Army into the Korean War and were used by the National Guard during the 1950s. The Israeli Army used upgraded versions of the tank into the 1970s.

    While the M4 is better known as the Sherman tank it was never officially given that name by the US Army. The British Army named the American tanks accepted into their service after American Civil War generals and those names stuck, rather than the prosaic numerical descriptions favored by the US Army.

    New York State Military Museum

    The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center is housed in the historic New York State Armory in Saratoga Springs. The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State's military forces and veterans. The collection is divided into the museum and the library/archives holdings.

    The museum has permanent exhibits telling the story of New York's men and women in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Revolutionary War and as members of the state militia in the 19th Century. The museum has more than 10,000 artifacts ranging from the Revolutionary War to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The New York State Military Museum is also responsible for the historical exhibits and artifacts at New York's 41 Army National Guard armories. These artifacts and displays, which include historic armored vehicles once used by the Guard, connect current Army National Guard Soldiers with those who served in the past.



    Date Taken: 09.14.2015
    Date Posted: 09.14.2015 13:38
    Story ID: 175983

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