Congratulations to Ft Pitt’s Sr. VP, COL Steve Patarcity
“Tanks for the Memories” was part of the Heinz History Center’s on-going commemoration of the end of WWII. On Saturday, 24 Oct, hundreds of people, many of them veterans, came out to see the 38-ton World War II Sherman tank sitting in front of the History Center’s Smithsonian wing to complement the “We Can Do It!” WWII exhibition go rumbling down Smallman Street in Pittsburgh’s famous Strip District.
This entire event was organized and planned with the leadership of our chapter’s Sr. VP for Operations, COL Steve Patarcity. As a military re-enactor, as well as being an Armor officer, Steve provided the coordination and collaboration of the many organizations and the Heinz History Center to successfully highlight the impact of armor forces during WWII.
The demonstration was designed to provide a behind-the-scene story about how tanks helped win the war, participate in an American flag folding ceremony, and visit the WWII exhibition. Throughout the day, the U.S. Tank Corps volunteers, a group of U.S. Army veteran tankers (including COL Steve Patarcity) and living historians, provided exterior tours of the Sherman tank and discussed the tank’s critical role during WWII and in the “Battle of the Bulge.” The tank crew, along with the WWII re-enactors from the First Frontier Mechanized Cavalry, also showcased other equipment and weaponry, as well as a collection of vintage jeeps, used in tank warfare.
The tank participated in the “Battle of the Bulge,” the historic march to relieve surrounded American soldiers in the Belgian town of Bastogne, as part of the 8th Tank Battalion, Fourth Armored Division in December 1944.
Nearly 50,000 M4 Sherman tanks saw service in all theaters of WWII, serving as the main battle tank of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Pennsylvania foundries in Coraopolis, Eddystone, Lebanon, Sharon, Bernham, and Pittsburgh all produced Sherman tank parts during the war. Union Steel and Castings plant in Lawrenceville, at the corner of Butler Street and the 62nd Street Bridge, produced the turret of this “Easy Eight” Sherman tank.
“Tanks for the Memories” concluded with a special American Flag Folding ceremony, headed by COL Patarcity, where visitors, veterans, and others helped to unfurl and fold a giant 36-foot garrison flag along Smallman Street.