A Vietnam War-era military tank now on display at City Utilities Park, near Memorial Coliseum, will become the centerpiece of a new veterans area at Riverview Cemetery in northwest Allen County.
The Walker Bulldog M-41 tank was obtained through the Breakfast Sertoma Club, said Dave McComb, co-owner of D.O. McComb & Sons Funeral Home, which owns and operates Riverview Cemetery, 11425 Carroll Road, just east of U.S. 33.
The massive vehicle weighs 51,000 pounds and has been demilitarized, he said.
There are few M-41s left, and we are very honored to be able to bring one to Riverview Cemetery, McComb said.
Fort Wayne Freedom Riders will lead the tank to its new home this month, in time for a special dedication ceremony planned for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
The tank was moved to its present location in the mid-1960s, McComb said.
Acquiring the tank and assuming the maintenance costs benefited both the club and the city, and is a perfect fit for the veterans section, McComb said.
We have been working on this for a while, he said. It made perfect sense to place the tank in the veterans section and to honor those who served. At the same time, it provided a solution to future upkeep and maintenance of the tank.
The club and city were not prepared or equipped to take on the long-term maintenance of the tank, he said.
Those costs will now be covered by the cemeterys perpetual care fund, McComb said.
Riverviews new section will cater to the special wishes and needs of veteran burials and memorials.
The funeral home serves more than 400 veterans and their families every year, McComb said.
This is a very handsome piece of equipment that will be representative of the sacrifices of veterans, he said.