FHC December Newsletter

DECEMBER 2016

NEW ARTIFACTS

FHC is excited to introduce four new artifacts into our collection- the LVT, M48, M60 and the de Havilland Mosquito! 

The LVTs (Landing Vehicle, Tracked) became amphibious assault machines used by U.S. forces in World War II and beyond.  The original LVT has its roots in a civilian rescue vehicle created by philanthropist and inventor Donald Roebling.  His Alligator “amtrac” could rescue hurricane victims under the most severe conditions both on land and in flooded areas.  Wartime LVTs followed, made bigger, more complex, and able to withstand conditions at sea.  This machine is an LVT-3 Bushmaster, built from the engines and power trains of obsolete M5A1 tanks near the end of World War II.  The assault vehicle carried a pair of Cadillac engines, one in each floating pontoon, with a cargo compartment in the center big enough to hold a jeep or several platoons to soldiers.  LVT-3s were first used in operations on Okinawa in 1945 and later became the standard post-war model.  Many LVT-3 types were used during the Inchon landings in Korea in September of 1950.

The M48 tank was the backbone of American armored forces in Vietnam.  Some 11,700 examples of the type were built by Chrysler, Ford, Fisher, and ALCO in the 1950s.  Along with the M46, M47, and M60, the M48 was named the “Patton,” after World War II commander George S. Patton.  This version, an M48A1, features an improved driver’s hatch and commander’s cupola fitted with a .50-caliber machine gun that could be fired and reloaded from inside the turret.  About 600 M48A3s, refitted with diesel engines, served with U.S. Army and Marine Corps units in Vietnam starting in 1965.  While built for tank-to-tank battles, the M48s were often used to support infantry soldiers in jungle and urban environments in Southeast Asia.  M48s are still employed by many nations including Greece, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Republic of Korea (South Korea).  This tank was one of 200 M48s acquired by the Royal Jordanian Army.  Some of Jordan’s tanks saw combat during the Six-Day War in 1967.   This M48A1 was a gift from the Royal Tank Museum, Jordan.

The M60 was America’s primary tank through the last decades of the Cold War.  Created as an improved version of the M48 Patton, the M60 was equipped with a bigger gun and updated engine.  Over 15,000 examples were built Chrysler and the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant from 1961 to 1987.  Though too late to serve in Vietnam, Israeli versions of the M60 fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and 1982 Lebanon War.  M60A1 tanks, similar to this one, fought in U.S. Marine units in Grenada and Beirut in 1983, and Iranian forces used M60s in the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988.  During Desert Storm, U.S. Marine M60s fought against Soviet-built Iraqi tanks, destroying over 100 with the loss of only one M60.

The de Havilland Mosquito is unique among World War II fighters because it is made primarily of wood, not metal.  The Royal Air Forces’ (RAF) “fast bomber” first flew in November of 1940.  In order to keep weight down, the speedy plane was constructed primarily of spruce, birch plywood, and balsa wood.  This building method had the added bonus of preserving war-critical duralumin and steel for other military aircraft projects.  The Mosquito was powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 engines, similar to those seen in the RAF’s Spitfire and Hurricane. The “Wooden Wonder” Mosquito became one of the fastest, far-flying, and most versatile aircraft of World War II.  Examples operated as bombers, fighters, fighter-bombers, night fighters, reconnaissance planes, and trainers.  The last of the over 7,700 examples built flew well into the jet age, retiring in the early 1960s.  The Mosquito arrived from New Zealand this morning and will be unloaded and assembled before your very eyes!

TANKS GIVING

FHC's Tanks Giving was a major hit with over 850 guests turning out! Santa's arrival by Sherman Tank was met with the excited cheers of the kids as they caught a glimpse of jolly old St. Nicholas for the first time this holiday! After visiting with Santa there were dozens of activities to do around the FHC Hangars including decorating gingerbread tank cookies, getting your face painted, watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the FHC theater, drinking hot cocoa, playing in the "snow", checking out the new M48, M60 and LVT, spinning the STAR 101.5 prize wheel, making tree ornaments at the craft station, listening to the Dickens Carolers voices fill the hangar, and much more.  

The star of the show this weekend was Teen Feed. This local non-profit helps teens prepare for their lives off of the street. Teen Feed was onsite accepting donations in lieu of paying admission into Tanks Giving- the generosity of every guest was astounding! After the event we received a letter from Teen Feed expressing their thanks and underscoring the importance of the donations they received:
   
"Among notable items, we received a pair of unused boots purchased for a fallen soldier, and a pair of gloves from a widow whose son was killed in Afghanistan. Teen Feed volunteers were moved and honored to be a part of the resolution of these stories. Many of the attendees shared stories of their time in shelters, their recovery from addiction after their return to society from conflicts and their passion for taking care of our most vulnerable citizens. FHC visitors donated five (5) large UHAUL boxes, (10) medium and (5) small boxes of items. FHC volunteers filled 2 car trunks with ramen and granola for the outreach backpack teams. Wow!"

Again, thank you to everyone who was involved in this years Tanks Giving event and we hope to see you again next year!  

CHRONICLES OF COURAGE

Flying Heritage Collection is excited to present Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation. One of the largest interview archives on war and aviation ever created, this digital experience features powerful first-person perspectives of over 340 men and women from opposing sides of conflicts – from World War II through the Gulf War – along with insight into some of the most iconic military aircraft. Click here or on the video tab above to begin watching these captivating stories!

BOOK SIGNING

Today, Curator Cory Graff's tenth book hits shelves. You can get it at the FHC gift shop or on Amazon, just in time for Christmas!

See all Cory's books at: www.corygraff.com

Don't miss your chance to get a signed copy on December 17th from 11am-1pm at the Flying Heritage Collection!

Our mailing address is:
3407 109th St SW
Everett, WA 98204

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