New Tank at Cantigny

The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park is known for their tanks. But only the newest addition to the fleet actually drives.

The museum recently traded one of their Sherman tanks for a smaller counterpart.

A More Maneuverable Model

“It’s an M5 A1 Stuart. The other big thing for us that was nice about it, especially over the Sherman – it’s much smaller, weighs a little less than half what the Sherman does. And maneuverability-wise it’s so much easier and more convenient to have in the park,” said Ian Richardson, historic vehicle program coordinator for the First Division Museum.

The M5 Stuart can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour and, being a light tank, is much more maneuverable than most other vehicles.

An Appropriate Fit

Developed in 1942, it was used in battle for reconnaissance and infantry support for the First Division, making it a perfect fit for the museum.

“These tanks in particular were in a light tank company, Company D of the 745th Tank Battalion,” said Richardson. “And the 745th was the tank battalion attached to the First Division throughout World War II.”

A Teaching Tool

At Cantigny though, the tank will be a teaching tool, giving visitors an up-close look at how these vehicles operated.

“We will definitely be having it out here to do demonstrations in the parking lot, doing circles and things like that – showing people how they move, how they sound,” said Richardson. “And then also we’ll be stopping it, parking it for events we have in the park, just like our other historic vehicles. We’ll pull it up in certain areas where the public can see it and we’ll park it, close it up, let people walk around and check it out.”

Richardson said they plan to name the tank “Dorothy” after the wife of a former 745th tanker named Eddie Ireland, who frequently attended Cantigny.

A real example of history in motion.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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