Tanks for the Memories:
History Center to rev up Sherman Tank
Last updated 10/19/2015 at 6:32pm
The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will showcase its World War II Sherman tank in action and get the behind-the-scenes story about how tanks helped win the war as part of a special public program, Tanks for the Memories, on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The 38-ton Sherman tank, displayed outside of the History Center in conjunction with its new We Can Do It! WWII exhibition, participated in the “Battle of the Bulge” in December 1944.
Throughout the day, the U.S. Tank Corps Volunteers, a group of U.S. Army veteran tankers and historians, will provide exterior tours of the tank, discuss its critical role during WWII, and examine how parts of the tank were built here in Western Pa. The tank crew, along with WWII re-enactors from the First Frontier Mechanized Cavalry, will also showcase gear and weaponry used during tank combat.
At 11 a.m., Col. Kevin W. Farrell of the U.S. Army will provide a special “tank talk” about the impact of the Sherman tank during WWII and his role as the senior advisor to movie star Brad Pitt in the blockbuster film, “Fury.” The 2014 movie focuses on a battle-hardened Army sergeant named Wardaddy (played by Pitt) who commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines in Germany during WWII.
Following Col. Farrell’s talk, tank owner John Tippins will showcase his Sherman tank’s raw power as the U.S. Tank Corp revs the engines and conducts a brief demonstration of the tank’s rolling capabilities.
The Tanks for the Memories program will conclude with a special American Flag Folding Ceremony where visitors, veterans, the U.S. Tank Corps, and others will help unfurl and fold a giant 36-foot garrison flag outside of the History Center.
Visitors can also enjoy the History Center’s We Can Do It! WWII exhibit, which explores Western Pennsylvania’s incredible impact on the home, industrial, and battle fronts during World War II. Featuring more than 275 rare artifacts, four jeeps, stunning photography, interactive displays, and immersive museum settings, We Can Do It! brings the 1940s to life as the nation commemorates the 75th anniversary of the start of WWII.
The program is included with regular History Center admission: $16 for adults, $14 for seniors age 62+, $6.50 for students and children age 6-17, and free for children age 5 and under and History Center members. Active duty and retired military receive a discounted admission rate of $6.
To preview the Sherman tank in action, check out this video with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage on how the tank was delivered to the History Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I8Y09VTqdw.