with an M2 plow
That's right folks, this tank was buried for 21 years at Central Islip Psychiatric Center. Now how often
would a State Hospital need to use a U.S. Army Tank? Well, C.I. used it almost every day. This W.W.II surplus Army
Tank, model M4A3E8 Sherman was given to the hospital just after the war to be used as a bulldozer moving coal piles and
railroad cars near their powerhouse. This tank was a special one too. Of the more than 40,000 Shermans built during
the war, only 50 were constructed with the M2 plow blade and were used by the Engineer Corps for construction
projects during combat. Here is a picture of the tank being lifted out of the ground by a 110 ton crane.
Instead of disposing of their tank in some traditional way, which would have cost the State of New York some money,
they simply had their new front loader dig a hole near the powerhouse and bury it under the sod. After the hole was dug
and the tank rolled into the hole it was discovered that the hole was not deep enough. To serve as a quick fix the hatch
was torch cut off and the tank was filled with earth. Then to hide the tank for what some thought was to be forever,
2 twenty yard trucks of earth were dumped on top.
But, since the museum has moved off Long Island, the museum directors have toyed with the idea to do a cosmetic restoration to the exterior of the vehicle. And so it has been done. The vehicle was cleaned inside and out of all the Long Island dirt and sand that still invaded the steel beast. The museum sand blasted it, and during the blasting we found the vehicle's serial numbers and also the wonderful original name that was painted on the side. The Sherman has had its teeth put back in the turret with the installation of the correct mantlet and cannon. All fenders were repaired along with hatches and lights. And the tracks have been reinstalled on the vehicle. This is as far as the museum will go on the restoration of this vehicle, as it is cost prohibited to go further. Seven thousand dollars in donations are still needed to replace all the deteriorated boggie wheels. All Donations are greatly appreciated for this project.
This vehicle was used this January for the filming of a segment of
According to the International Sherman Registry, the A.A.F. Tank Museum Sherman is the only know M2 dozer blade mounted Sherman known in any museum in the world. Many newspaper articles were written about it. There has been T.V. and radio coverage about it, and it even made it on the international wire services reaching all the way to US soldiers that heard about this archeological dig in Europe. This old war horse may not be the oldest excavation of a fully buried tank in the world, but it just may be so for one found in this country. In any event, the Sherman deserves it's place in history as the tank that was once lost, but now found. It may have never been used in combat during W.W.II, but yet, has been places that many Shermans have gone before, and not survived.
ENGINE: Ford GAA V-8
SPEED: 26 mph   RANGE: 100
A.A.F. Tank Museum
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