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Tanks Giving: A magical holiday event


EVERETT, Wash. _On Dec. 3 from 10 am - 2 pm, the public is invited to check out the Flying Heritage Collection for "Tanks Giving", and annual tank-themed holiday event. At 11 a.m. Santa arrives by tank. The event will show off seeral new artifacts acquired by Paul G. Allen: an M48, M60 and an LVT.

Alongside the new vehicles, the event features Santa Village, hot cocoa station, ginger bread cookie decorating for the kids, two food trucks, a scavenger hunt, craft stations, FHC Gaming, face painting, RC Tank demo, a special showing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the theater and more.

As a gift to the Flying Heritage Collection the Royal Tank Museum in Jordan sent two new Tanks which are being released to the public on December 3rd. The first is an M60 and the second is an M48.

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 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 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.

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