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Rock Island Arsenal displays tank made there 100 years ago

wvik news

A tank made at the Rock Island Arsenal over 100 years ago has been returned, restored and is now on display.

The Mark VIII Liberty Tank was produced at the arsenal between 1919 and 1920. It was created for World War I, but the war ended before it could be used.

Instead, 100 of them were sent to training camps in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Three years ago, one was returned to the arsenal. And the organization that created it—the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center—got to work restoring it.

A ribbon cutting was held at the arsenal on Tuesday.
A ribbon cutting was held at the arsenal on Tuesday.

Greg Lupton is the deputy commander of the center. He says 800 hours of work went into restoring the Liberty tank.

"It was in really bad shape, floor was rusted out, several components needed to be removed, filled with lead paint," he said. "And that's just a couple of the things we encountered."

There are only three surviving Mark VIII tanks. One is in a museum in England and another is at Fort Moore in Georgia.

The third is now on display at the Rock Island Arsenal.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.