More on the Stuart tank at Berwick

imageA couple weeks ago we posted about a WWII era Stuart tank that has found a new home in Berwick PA, site of the former American Car and Foundry factory.  Bob Kalinowski of The Citizen’s Voice of Luzerne County has posted an article and video about the Berwick Stuart tank and Louis Kovach, a 90 year old former employee of American Car and Foundry who welded parts on many of the 15,000 Stuart tanks produced by the company.

Louis Kovach welded parts of all 15,224 tanks manufactured at the American Car and Foundry in Berwick that were used in combat during World War II.

At age 90, he finally got to see one return home.

A 1942 Stuart tank, built at the American Car and Foundry, recently arrived back in Berwick following a 12-year effort by a group of citizens motivated by a motto they adopted — “Bring Stuie Home.”

“It was built in Berwick and a lot of people served in those tanks. Coming back to its original place in Berwick was quite an achievement,” Kovach said recently. “It’s nice for Berwick.”

Today, the tank will take center stage in the borough where it was born. The tank will be paraded through Berwick around 2 p.m. on a trailer as part of a homecoming ceremony, then it will be on display at the Reliance Fire Hall for people to take pictures. Members of the committee expect a lot of interest since more than 9,100 people from Northeastern Pennsylvania worked at the plant during its peak, including 1847 workers from Luzerne County.

The tank has been stored on a trailer in a garage in Salem Township since arriving 10 days ago.

Kovach’s nephew, Columbia County Commissioner Dave Kovach, was part of the Stuart Tank Committee that worked for 12 years to find, buy and relocate a Stuart tank.

Full article here.

Click on this image to view the video of Louis Kovach and the Berwick Stuart.


Stuart tank returned to site of American Car and Foundry factory

WNEP 16 News (Pennsylvania) is reporting that a WW2 era Stuart light tank has found a new home in Berwick PA, site of the former American Car and Foundry factory.

The Stuart Light Tank, called a Stuie, was among 15,000 Stuie Tanks built from 1940 to 1944 at the former American Car and Foundry factory that once stood inside the industrial park.

The tanks were used in combat during World War II in Europe. Many at the celebration are veterans of the war.

“It’s almost like uniting a family.When you lose somebody in battle and they’re over there, and they finally come home, that’s the closing,” said Donald.

Veteran Joe Messina worked at the factory, testing the tanks.

“I test drove them before they went out,” said Messina. “I test drove them when they came out the gate and then I took them.”

The plan is to eventually have the Stuie Tank placed at the entrance to the industrial park. It will serve as a memorial to the Stuie Tanks, the factory, and the thousands of people who worked there.

There is already a historical marker set at the memorial site, which was put there last September on V-E Day to honor the 9,000 workers.

Berwick stuart