Our newly built from scratch ww1 M1917 tank
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World War I US Army Soldier. James Bethel Gresham was a factory worker in Evansville, Indiana when on April 23, 1914 he enlisted in the United States Army. In June of 1917, as part of Co F of the 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, he was part of the first group of American troops sent to France for World War I. A few months later he became one of the first three American soldiers killed in the war. In the pre-dawn hours of November 3, 1917, German soldiers attacked the Americans in their trenches near Artois, France. The Americans were vastly outnumbered, and engaged in hand-to-hand battle with the enemy. At the end of the encounter, three American soldiers were dead, five sounded and twelve taken prisoner. Corporal James Gresham, along with Private Thomas Enright and Private Merle D. Hay, were buried on the battlefield where they fell. Corporal Gresham was later reburied in the American Cemetery in Bathlemon, France, and finally in 1921 was returned to Evansville and buried in Locust Hill Cemetery.
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By Jake Bethel / Daily Clarion
Three Gibson County residents have taken up the task of building a World War I-era M1917 tank that will be dedicated to Gen. George Patton Jr., who fought in World War II.
Patton's grandson, a veteran himself, George Patton Waters, will accept the tank for his grandfather at a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes.
The three men, Randall Becht, his 18-year-old son, Grant Becht, and Brian Bartholome have built the tank mostly in their garage. This tank will be the first one on display in Indiana. Randall Becht and Bartholome run a business called Hoosier Restoration and Movie Props, the moniker under which this work was done.
"We didn't do this kind of stuff when we started," Randall Becht said.
According to the Pennsylvania Military Museum's official website, the M1917
weighed 6.5 tons, stands more than 7 feet tall and measures more than 16 feet long. These vehicles would be equipped with a machine gun in the turret and a crew of two soldiers. M1917 tanks can be found at several museums across the United States, including New York, Chicago and Kentucky, but this is the first to be displayed in the Indiana Military Museum.
Randall Becht and Bartholome traveled to Chicago at the beginning of the project to measure an existing tank on display outside of a museum there, with permission. They spent six hours taking measurements in the cold, and Bartholome had pneumonia at the time, unbeknownst to Becht, whom he only told once they were finished. They took detailed photos as well and returned to Indiana to begin the eighteen-month process of building the tank.
"We came back with a lot of ifs," Becht said. The Indiana Military Museum did supply them with GI manuals of the tanks specifications, but only once they were virtually done building it, as a sort of test of their aptitude.
"A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this," said Bartholome.
Since it has nearly 100 original parts in it, this particular tank is considered a restoration, not a replica, which would be far less valuable, according to Becht.
The pair did have help with many pieces of the vehicle. A Canadian company built the tracks, all but six of them engraved by Vincennes University with the names of companies and people who donated money or resources to the project. More than 120 donors are included in the track engravings. On one of them is Eaton Detroit Spring, who built and provided the springs in the track assembly, free of charge because of the nature of the project. "They nailed it, having never seen it," said Becht.
Becht credits his wife, Janet, with the inception of the project. She connected Becht and Bartholome with the curator of the museum, Judge Jim Osborne.
The two manufactured many of the steel pieces themselves, at their place of employment, Industrial Filter, where they used laser cutters and water jets to make the large panels that make up the body of the tank. They credited Mike Bartholome and Sarah Frazier with Industrial Filter's donation.
The seat, fire extinguishers, canteen, fabric and binoculars within the tank are all original, the pair said.The gun inside the turret fires, but only for military salutes, not live rounds. The paint scheme on the outside is made to look like it would have in 1917, complete with spades on it in memory of Gen. George Patton, who used a card numbering system for tanks, though these never saw battle because they arrived to Europe too late, according to the pair. Brecht said he was told it "looks like Gen. Patton parked it and went to the mess hall.
I am so sad to report that the inspiration and spark and founder of Hoosier Restorations Has passed, She leaves behind a legacy of hope and love for all who knew her. Her pure heart, and positive infuences are seen here everywhere. She never compalained and always soldiered on to the hope in a new day. Although she is with Jesus, she is in our hearts and will continue to drive us forward in life to be the best we can be, thats what she did, made us all a better person. She loved everyone, smiled always, never complained and was very devout Christian. We love you and will miss you Janet. And we will be reunited again until then, know this we love you, and miss you darling. Your husband and best friend.
Above is a Pak40 charging handle
One of the many decorated soldiers in World War II
Army Distinguished Service Cross,
4 Bronze Stars,
4 Purple Hearts.
The following is the citation for the awarding of Walter Dilbeck's Distinguished Service Cross
By direction of the President, the Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to the following individual: Walter J. Dilbeck Jr., 35 481 476, Private First Class, Company F, 253d Infantry Regiment, for extraordinary heroism in action on the 6th of April 1945, in the vicinity of Buchhof, Germany. When his company was hit from two sides by a strong and determined enemy force of over two hundred SS troops, Private First Class Dilbeck observed that panic was running wild among our troops. Everyone just took off for the rear, allowing the enemy forces to move into the foxholes as fast as they were vacated. From this new position, the Germans poured out a deadly stream of automatic and small arms fire, causing terrific casualties among the Americans and giving them no chance to reorganize. Realizing that something had to be done to stop the enemy attack, Private First Class Dilbeck stopped voluntarily on a bare knoll and began to pour deadly automatic rifle fire into the ranks of the charging SS troops. With conspicuous gallantry and determination, he stood his ground even through all the fire power of the enemy was almost upon him, but he continued to fire as fast as he could change magazines. The enemy attack finally stalled because of their terrible losses. Private First Class Dilbeck had killed or wounded over sixty of the SS troops. Because of his indomitable courage and fearless tenacity, Private First Class Dilbeck saved the lives of many of his comrades and made it possible for his company to withdraw successfully, reorganize and hold its new position.
Seventh U.S. Army,
General Orders No. 92 1946
The Battle of Buchhof and Stein: The story of Second Battalion 253rd Infantry Regiment
When the German counter attack struck the First Platoon, only one man stood his ground PFC Walter J. Dilbeck. The remainder of the platoon retreated to the town of Buchhof because they had no commanders to stop them. When F Company retreated to Buchhof, the enemy forces moved “into the foxholes as [quickly] as they were vacated. From this new position, the Germans poured out a deadly stream of automatic and small arms fire,” against F Company, giving them no chance to reorganize. “Realizing that something had to be done to stop the enemy attack, PFC Dilbeck stopped voluntarily on a bare knoll and began to pour deadly automatic rifle fire into the ranks of the charging SS troops.” After being wounded in the shoulder and thigh Dilbeck used a wagon wheel to keep himself standing and to have the ability to fire his Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). Dilbeck took his children knitted baby booties that he wore on his dog tag chain and stuffed them in his leg wound to help stop the bleeding. Every time PFC Dilbeck ran low on ammunition, he was resupplied by PFC Grover J Dees (age 19 from Mobile Alabama), whom was killed instantly while resupplying Dilbeck with a gunshot wound to the head. PFC Dilbeck passed out on the wagon wheel and was found by members of F and HQ Company before they left the town of Buchhof , on the night of April 6. In front of PFC Dilbeck were 60 dead SS Soldiers.
A soldiers story
As for me and my house
We serve the Lord
H R And Movie Props LLC
Tom Cruise`s movie prop in for repair after the movie Valkyrie
Its a real German vehicle, we will bring it back the way it was delivered in 1943 to Rommel
Above the owners of HR cuttin up, Brian is doing the meet and greet. Was a fun day.
Born William Henry Johnson in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Johnson moved to New York as a teenager. He worked various jobs - as a chauffeur, soda mixer, laborer in a coal yard, and a redcap porter at Albany's Union Station. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, June 5, 1917, and was assigned to Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment - an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment.
The 369th Infantry Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French army colonial unit in front-line combat. Johnson served one tour of duty to the western edge of the Argonne Forest in France's Champagne region, from 1918-1919.
For his battlefield valor, Johnson became one of the first Americans to be awarded the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme, France's highest award for valor.
Johnson returned home from his tour and was unable to return to his pre-war porter position due to the severity of his 21 combat injuries. Johnson died in July 1929. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Johnson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Cross in 2002.
Here are some photos of current restorations. We would like to thank all who helped us to donate these artifacts to the museums, large and small they are greatly appreciated .
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M1917 tracks available contact Jim Osborne at the Indiana Military Museum for details
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Display Browning 30 cals
Type your paragraph here.Frank Luke , Jr.Date of birth: May 19, 1897
Date of death: September 29, 1918
Burial location: Romagne Meuse, France
Place of Birth: Arizona, Phoenix
Home of record: Phoenix Arizona
Frank Luke, known as the "Arizona Balloon Buster," destroyed 4 airplanes and 14 German balloons in 17 days, during ten of which he didn't fly. His brash manner made him unpopular with fellow aviators, but his accomplishments ranked as perhaps the greatest in the history of aerial combat. At the time of his death he was the American "Ace of Aces" with 18 victories, and was one of only two Air Service fighter pilots to receive the Medal of Honor in WWI. Luke Air Force Base in Arizona is named in his memory.
AWARDS AND CITATIONS
Medal of HonorSee more recipients of this award
Awarded for actions during the World War I
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant (Air Service) Frank Luke, Jr., United States Army Air Service, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot, 27th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, Air Service, A.E.F., in action at Murvaux, France, 29 September 1918. After having previously destroyed a number of enemy aircraft within 17 days Second Lieutenant Luke voluntarily started on a patrol after German observation balloons. Though pursued by eight German planes which were protecting the enemy balloon line, he unhesitatingly attacked and shot down in flames three German balloons, being himself under heavy fire from ground batteries and the hostile planes. Severely wounded, he descended to within 50 meters of the ground, and flying at this low altitude near the town of Murvaux opened fire upon enemy troops, killing six and wounding as many more. Forced to make a landing and surrounded on all sides by the enemy, who called upon him to surrender, he drew his automatic pistol and defended himself gallantly until he fell dead from a wound in the chest.General Orders: War Department, General Orders 59 (May 3, 1919)
Action Date: September 29, 1918
Service: Army Air Forces
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Battalion: 27th Aero Squadron
Regiment: 1st Pursuit Group
Division: American Expeditionary Forces
You are certainly a renaissance man! What a fantastic job! You are to be congratulated for your ingenuity in seeing this project to fruition.
Glad to have been a part of it. I have had many model builders want tank details, but you are at the top.... You built a 1 to 1 scale full size tank
out of STEEL, and working as well!!!!!! Superb JoB. I don't have enuf adjectives for you......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an ambitious project!!!!!!
Sincerely, Hayes Otoupalik
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