Thursday, September 1st was the day! After a 14-month restoration project the tank was picked up and transported to Overloon where it is placed in the square.
At 8.30 AM the Royal Engineers arrived on the site with their crane.
After setting up the crane they first removed the turret and placed the hull of the tank on the trailer. Then the turret was placed back on the hull and locked.
The weather conditions were ideal. A real Summer day, just as in July 2010 when the tank was brought to our restoration location.
By noon the journey began from the restoration location in Sambeek to Overloon. At 12.30 the convoy arrived at the square in Overloon where many spectators were waiting to attend the placement.
The Royal Engineers investigated the monument site already some time before and knew exactly how the crane should be placed. Again the turret was removed from the tank and then the hull was lifted from the trailer. With military precision the hull was hoisted in position over the concrete base. Then the turret was placed back on the hull again and locked. Because we no longer have to be inside the tank, the doors at the rear of the tank now are also welded.
On the link below you will find a video with images of the placement.
A few days later we continued to clean up the restoration site.
Thanks to the family Uyen at Sambeek, the firm Uyen for total sun protection and window frames (www.uyen.nu) and Mipa (www.mipabedrijfskleding.nl). They gave us permission to use their land and facilities to make it possible to carry out the complete restoration.
This clean up included the replacement of the containers that had to be moved for providing passage to the crane and trailer. This is done by firm J. Arts in Sint Anthonis.
We transported the eight concrete blocks, on which the hull and turret had been standing for one year, to the crusher. For this we could use the telehandler of Mr. Hofmans in Overloon of Bungalow Court Overloon (www.hofvanoverloon.nl).
In October the ceremonial transfer to the municipality of Boxmeer / inauguration of the tank will take place and then this unique project is completed.
Meanwhile, there are studies on the manufacturer and serial number of the tank. Through some special features, including the construction of the rear guards and the curved edge around the .30 bowgun where a dustcover can be attached, it is proven that the tank was built by the firm Pacific Car and Foundry Company. We have found the serial number on two places. One stamped on the front of the hull and one stamped inside the wall to the left of the driver's seat.
It is number 3714. The tank was built in July 1943 by this Pacific Car and Foundry Company.
In July 1943 the company produced 77 M4A1 Sherman Tanks of the type (75 mm).
This firm produced this type of tank during a period of one and a half year. They produced 926 units Currently worldwide there are only a few survivors known that came from this plant.
The E9 specifications (including the spacers we have removed) are probably made/mounted in the Spring of 1945 by the firm Evansville Chrysler. Thanks to Joe de Marco and Pierre-Olivier Buan for the research.
October 2011 schedule:
- Ceremonial inauguration and official transfer.