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Monroeville students help restore World War II tank
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:00 am
Post subject: Monroeville students help restore World War II tank

Reflector Staff Writer |

MONROEVILLE - Nick Tessari's cousin drove a tank in Iraq, looking for bombs and trapped wire.Tessari and other Monroeville High School art students had their own experience with a tank this week an authentic World War II Army tank.

It's not everyday you get to work on one.

The students did both for a project to restore a 1944 M4-A3 Sherman Tank.The students repainted it, made sure the dimensions matched and that the information on the tank is historically accurate.By working on the tank, which is resting at Monroeville Marine Inc., the students got to see an authentic war tank up close and apply skills they've learned to real life. Meanwhile, Ron Rowland benefited from the students' free volunteer work.

Rowland, a maintenance supervisor at a store in Lima, estimated he'd have to pay a contractor $1,000 to $1,500.Rowland operates the tank and, through his business, donates his time and money to maintain it.The tank's permanent home is the Allen County Historical Society in Lima, where Rowland is a long-time volunteer. During parade season, Rowland takes the tank to cities such as Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Grand Rapids and Lima.

So how'd it end up in Monroeville?

Rowland took the tank to a function at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. The clutch assembly had gone bad and Rowland met a Bellevue businessman who said he could fix it. After he completed the work, Rowland didn't want to take the tank back to Lima just yet; it was wintertime and the weather wasn't good. So, he looked for a place to temporarily house it. Rowland found Monroeville Marine Inc., where co-owner Dave Gerber agreed to keep it."It's been quite a conversation piece," Gerber said. "Customers are coming in and saying 'Oh my gosh, what do you have a tank for?'"

The tank has impressed the student volunteers as well. They said they pictured it smaller than its measurements of 38.62 tons in weight, 24 feet, 8 inches in length and 11 feet by 3 inches in height."Actually seeing it up front, it's really cool," Tessari said. "I just said 'wow.' This is going to be in history and it might be retired soon."More than 49,000 Sherman's were produced during World War II. They were used by many of the Allied nations, including Canada during that war.This particular tank is painted as "Thunderbolt" Col. Creighton Abram's personal tank in World War II. Abrams was a famous tank commander and eventually became the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. The Army's present main battle tank is named the "Abrams" in honor of the general.

The students said they have family members in the service, so the tank took on added meaning for them.Sophomore Cassie Eads said looking at the tank made her think of her cousin, who is a medic serving in Iraq until the end of April.Eads is looking to enlist before the summer as a medic, like her cousin. Seeing the tank made her want to enlist even more, she said.Eads' uncle, Matt Strecker, is in the Marines who returned from Iraq about a year ago. She thinks the experience of seeing the tank will give them something more to talk about.

"I guess we all feel pretty honored to be asked to do (work on the tank)," said senior Nina Taylor, whose cousin is serving in Iraq.Rowland said the students' work is valuable."I can't even begin to express it," he said. "They're actually taking part of history. Hopefully, they'll come to the museum some day when they have children and say 'I did this.'"The tank will remain at Monroeville Marine until at least next month, Gerber said.

FOR YOUR INFO-Interesting facts about the Sherman Tank

Donated to the Allen County Historical Society in 1957

Its cruising range is 100 miles and cruising speed is 26 mph

The tank was displayed outside the museum until 1987 when volunteers restored the Sherman to mint running condition including a completely reconditioned "spare" engine. The reconditioned engine was put into service in 2007.

The tank has a 76 mm cannon, one 50-caliber machine gun and two 30 caliber machine gunsThe 500 horsepower Ford engine can move the 38-ton tank at 26 mph.49,234 Sherman's were produced during World War II, including 2,000 produced in Lima. They were used by many of the Allied nations, including Canada during that war.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:10 am
Post subject: Re: Monroeville students help restore World War II tank

Sounds like a roadtrip is in order. They are roughly 2.5 hours from me. I have already contacted them about a visit. There are a few other M4's that live along that route in OH, I think I will try to see if they are there, etc..
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