As a follow-up to our Photo of the Day from yesterday about the T28 heavy tank that slide off a HET during transit, here is a statement from the facebook page of the National Armor and Cavalry Museum regarding the event.
Friends of the National Armor and Cavalry Museum,
Last Thursday we were very excited to show off the T28 leaving the yard. It was on its way to begin the first part of a clean-up, re-paint, and partial restoration. Unfortunately things do not always go as planned. During the journey across post to where it was to be painted, the contracted Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) was traveling down a hill when it suffered an unexpected and massive brake failure. In order to keep the HET on the road, the contractor crew was forced to make an extremely sharp turn. This forcefully shifted the T28 (currently weighing about the same as an M1A2 Abrams as it is without its outer track set or engine installed) around the trailer. Despite the large amounts of chain used, the T28 broke completely free. In hindsight, this probably prevented a worse accident since the T28 was not left partially chained, which could have caused the tank to roll over and off. Instead the T28 slid off the trailer and hit the ground with both tracks. It then rolled rear first, into a ditch before stopping.
First and foremost, we are extremely thankful no one was injured in the incident. As for the accident itself, the appropriate departments are conducting their investigations. As for the T28, we are very lucky that it was built very tough! Considering the U.S. Super Heavy was definitely not designed to fly short distances, it landed in the best manner imaginable. The impact of the landing and subsequent stop in the ditch did cause some damage to the suspension, specifically two bogie stations. The good news is everything is repairable and will be incorporated into the painting and cleanup. While she spent a night in the ditch, she was recovered the next day with no issues by two M88A1 Hercules Recovery Vehicles. During this time, we did not put out information until all chains of command could be informed and a proper damage assessment could be completed. While this is an unfortunate setback, it is minor in the long run and the T28 will be back. In closing we’d like to thank everyone for their support during this process and hope you continue to follow our work in preserving and restoring the U.S. Army’s armor collection. Thank you!
The NACM Staff and Volunteers