to know your VMMV staff & vehicles
In this section we will introduce you to the people and armor
of theVirginia Museum of Military Vehicles. We will chat with
the VMMVstaff, so that you can get to know the people who "keep
'em running" and work so hard behind the scenes. And also
provide a behind-the-scenes look into the history of individual
vehicles in the VMMV collection. In this, our second newsletter,
we have the first of a multi-part article on the collection's
M3 Medium Tank "Lee".
VMMV's Lee was built by Chrysler Corporation at the Detroit
Tank Arsenal in June 1942 as US Serial Number W-3,058,035. Not
much is known about her wartime service, other than she was
turned over to the Commonwealth -- most likely Australia --
and was assigned the British serial number T-25984.
Fast forward to 1988 and a hilly part of Ararat, Victoria in
Australia. And Bob Fleming, a well-known "tank finder"
for the Budge collection in the UK, spots the hull of our Lee
in a field for an unknown period of years, but the Wright-Continental
R975 EC2 radial turned over!!!! The Lee had been used as a bulldozer
and had a large steel plate to cover the the hull roof -- since
the turret had been removed.
the bulldozer's blade had been removed, the mounting brackets
were still welded to the hull front. Overall, the running gear
was in "well-used" condition. A lot of tender loving
care would be required to return the Lee to the splendor with
which she left the factory over 45 years earlier. Stay tuned
to this section for our next article on the restoration of the