S.T.M.A.

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STUART TANK MUSEUM ASSOCIATION

Our History
The original "Stuart Tank Committee" was formed in 2013 as a Berwick Borough
volunteer committee. A few years later, Stuart Tank Memorial Association was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under Pennsylvania law and has been determined to be a 501(c)3 public charity by the Internal Revenue Service. The association continues to grow and hold events and maintains a historical museum.

Our Mission
To acquire a Berwick-built Stuart Tank, create a memorial to commemorate the thousands of workers who built it and veterans who fought in it during WWII, and to educate students and the public and future generations about their collective sacrifice and accomplishments.


Stuart Tank Museum Image

Stuart Tank Memorial Association Board Members

  • Dave Kovach- President
  • Craig Shepperly- Vice President
  • Tom Mclaughlin- Secretary
  • Debb Lutz- Treasurer
  • Michelle Kozak- Recording Secretary
  • ​Robert Blenis , Bridgett Coolbaugh, Scott Coslett,
  • Steve Greenberg, Adam Hartzell, Bill, Hartzell,
  • Bob Hinkle, Jim Long, Steve Moorhead,
  • Joe Perkoski, George Pifers, Steve Phillips,
  • Jim Shotwell, Josh Seijak, Janelle Surkin, Bob Wise

Stuart Tank Memorial Association, Inc

​The Stuart Tank Memorial Association Museum and educational program are the Association’s
mission and focus. What had started as a search for a Berwick built tank to serve as a static
memorial has grown substantially.
 

  • With the help of the Marine Corps League, STMA raised $120,000 to purchase a tank.
  • Obtained BATF and State Department permits to purchase and import the tank from England.
  • Restored it mechanically to running condition.
  • A custom built parade trailer was built and donated by Cheetah Chassis.
  • The Museum building was obtained from BH&W through a grant process.
  • Obtained an earlier model Berwick tank on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps now on display in the Museum.
  • Kawneer Corporation fabricated and donated a 10 ft. x 11 ft. set of glass doors to allow the NMMC tank to be placed in the museum.
  • Kocher Construction cut the wall opening & Reliable Glass installed the doors.
  • Bloomsburg Carpet donated new rug for the Main Display Room. Joseph Petty installed the rug.
  • Obtained three large glass display cases from Don E Bower from the demolition of the old Williamsport Airport Terminal.

 

STMA has conducted educational displays at Eckley Village, Bloomsburg Fair, Knoebels Grove, Altoona Curve Stadium, Bedford Springs WWII Weekend, Philadelphia Veterans Day Parade, Briggs Blues Festival, Bloomsburg Children’s Museum & numerous other venues.


Educational presentations were given to all grades at Holy Family School and Briar Creek Borough after school program. STMA has also conducted its own events including the annual World War II Weekend vehicle display and reenactments. Events include Home Front displays and information in addition to the military displays. Visitors see the sacrifices made by families at home to support the troops overseas.


The Museum provides a fixed indoor location for lectures, presentations, videos, books and displays. The focus is on the contributions and sacrifices local families made in support of the Arsenal of Democracy. In addition to building Community and Family pride, with so much current news reporting of drugs and crime, the Museum and its programs provide a positive history.


In addition to the World War II history, the Museum highlights the importance of what today is titled “STEM” education. The wartime production at AC& F Berwick highlights STEM skills:


Science – Technology – Engineering – Math – Science – Metallurgy, Chemistry


In order to produce their own armor plate and develop processes to weld armor plate
AC&F needed experts in Chemistry and Metallurgy.


Technology – Heat Treatment, Welding, Machining


The tanks were originally riveted steel plates. During the production of the 15,224 tanks
rivets were replaced by welding. Special processes were developed to enable the
welding of armor plate.


Due to the size of the tank orders AC&F suppliers could not meet the demand for armor
plate. AC&F built their own furnaces and produced their own armor plate.


Engineering – Mechanical Design, Ballistics, Strength of Materials


AC&F produced so much armor plate the military allowed them to set up their own on
site ballistic testing facility. All other manufacturers had to ship plates to the Aberdeen
Proving Grounds in Maryland while AC&F fired live shells at their plates inside a building
in the center of Berwick. Armor plate was installed at an angle to increase the effective ballistic strength withoutincreasing plate thickness.


Math – Geometry, Weight Distribution


Armor plate was installed at an angle to defect weapons fire and increase the effective
thickness without increasing weight. The large rear idler wheel increased the length of track bearing on the ground providing better weight distribution resulting in the 29,000 pound tanks only exerting 10.9 pounds per square in on the ground.


EQUALITY - knowledge that your accomplishments are not limited by preconceived notions &
prejudices.


As men rushed to enlist in the military following Pearl Harbor, women joined the workforce performing what had been “A Man’s Job”. Manpower shortages resulted in positions being opened for women which had previous been limited to men only. Such positions included security guards and pilots in addition to factory worker positions – welders, machinists, and assemblers.


The same manpower shortages resulted in positions being made available to African Americans in the military where they proved themselves well – Tuskegee Airmen, 761 st Tank Battalion, and Red Ball Express. The treatment of Japanese Americans whose parents were placed in Internment Camps yet still volunteered and served as in the highly decorated 442 Regiment in Italy and France.


Small towns produce heroes – Sergeant Day Turner earned the Medal of Honor for his actions.