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.
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.
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.