A U.S. Marine amphibious assault tank to be unveiled during World War II Encampment Weekend
The Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage, will honor U.S. Marine veterans during World War II Weekend, May 20th and 21st, held at Old Bethpage Village Restoration when it operates a massive Marine amphibious assault tank similar to those used in capturing Japanese held islands.
The rare World War II era LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) “Buffalo” amphibious assault vehicle was presented to the museum by Thea Kronlund as part of a joint decision to create a permanent living tribute to her late husband and armor collector, Mr. Kevin Kronlund and his national leadership in keeping alive our nation’s military heritage.
Mrs. Kronlund stated, “On the eve of Kevin’s death the Museum of American Armor acquired his Long Tom cannon and M 4 artillery tractor for the purpose of making it a cornerstone of the museum’s armor collection. Over the passage of time the museum has repeatedly honored Kevin’s legacy when visitors come to tour their facility. Given that the museum is located within one of the largest veterans populations in the United States, we thought his LVT would be an appropriate means of creating a lasting tribute to Kevin’s legacy that can be appreciated by many.”
Capable of being launched from ships off shore to allow Marines to assault a fortified beach, the museum’s LVT has been retrofitted to allow it operate safely on land. It will be joined by other operational vehicles, including a Sherman tank, a Stuart tank, armor cars, towed artillery and field exercises conducted by squads of living historians.
World War II Weekend is sponsored by PSEG Long Island, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Amtrust Title and Squad Security.
History Channel’s Historian Emeritus Dr. Libby O’Connell said, “This museum is a unique commitment by public and private sectors to preserve and present a seminal chapter in the history of our nation… and our world. It is worth a visit by every American family, regardless of their ethnicity and life experience because this is the story of all of us.”
Museum associate board member Eileen Daly Sapraicone explained, “The ability to create an armored column that replicates the sights and sounds of American forces during World War II is one of the most compelling educational tools we have to recount the story of our courage, valor and sacrifice. Place it in this setting so reminiscent of the WWII era countryside, and you have created a virtual time machine that ensures indelible memories for entire families.”
Admission for World War II Encampment Weekend is $12 for adults, $8 for children (5-12), seniors (60+) handicapped, volunteer firefighters (firefighters need to show ID).
For more information go to www.museumofamericanarmor.org or friend them on Facebook.