A day at the museum - Museum of American Armor - Bethpage, NY

Funny you mention that, when I was 17 in 1984, I volunteered at an armor museum out in eastern Long Island ( north fork) in a town called Mattituck. It was located on Love Lane lol. One block east of the train station. It was owned by my older brothers boss at the time, Richard Gasser of Gasser and Sons. I think they made missile parts or something. He had a lot of money so he started this collection of armored vehicles. The building was this big metal shed that he camouflaged. Locals supposedly hated him. Some years later, not exactly sure when, he picked up his museum and moved to Virginia. Can’t remember what the name of his new place was but I’d heard it was bigger. I’m told now that it’s no longer there and this museum in Bethpage purchased some of the vehicles. Not at all sure how true it is.
Here is a pic I took a few weeks ago of that old metal building in Mattituck while in was working on the train tracks there. Processing: IMG_0588.jpeg…

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His collection moved to Danville VA as the AAF Tank Museum - I went there on one of my visits to my mother in NC. Not sure what happened, but I do wonder who got the CI Sherman? I went to grab pics and measurements of the rare M2 dozer blade on it, but they wanted over a hundred bucks just to let me cross the ropes to see it in detail! Oh well…

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Yes that was it Tom thank you. It’s starting to come back to me lol.
By CI Sherman, do you mean Central Islip? I thought that’s where they got the tank from. There used to be a psychiatric hospital there for many years and it was expansive. I was told they used the tank to move coal around or something like that. Just can’t remember.

Here’s that pic of the now defunct Armor museum building in Mattituck.
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Yup - that’s the one. They bought the tank in the 50s as surplus, de-milled crudely by unbolting and removing the entire gun/mantlet/mount from the turret face leaving a gaping hole! It was cheaper to buy and run as a switch engine instead of paying the LIRR to reposition coal wagons on their spur. When CI switched to oil the tank was redundant, so rather than pay to scrap it they dug a big hole and buried it. Gasser dug it up in the early 80s and restored it for his museum, adding the missing gun parts.

Some day I’ll build it in all its de-milled glory…

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Yes! The LIRR did have a spur there for many years and the tank was used to shove coal wagons around. That spur is gone now as is most if not all of the hospital. I grew up around the corner from there. CI station is still there just down the road along Suffolk Ave and quite busy. The hospital grounds were used by NYIT as its Long Island campus ( the main campus was in Westbury and there was also one in Manhattan, they’re both still in operation). I attended the CI campus from ‘90-‘95 as it was only 2 miles from my house. I used to turn into the campus from Lowell Ave and there were still some very old buildings there including the coal plant. Now it’s mostly townhouses.

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Thanks Richard for these pics of the Xenon light mounted on the Patton’s turret side, I’ve often wondered if those mounting points were for doing just that . . .

Cajun :crocodile:

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You’re welcome Terry. I tried to get as many different angles of each vehicle as well as details but ran out of time. I had my Dad with me and he’s 92 so he was getting a little tired , I but definitely will go back soon to take more. The vehicles are off limits as far as climbing on them. And the vast majority are behind a metal railing which limits ones view points obviously.

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Me and Dad in front of the M60 outside.

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I can’t remember ever seeing a searchlight mounted like that. I always thought they were on top of the gun manlet.

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That is the stored position for the searchlight. Dragon’s M48s and M60s come with the mount. I think Takom’s do as well.

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Oh ok thanks Gino. I thought at first the museum staff just put it there for some reason.

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Always struck me as a risky place for the searchlight. I wonder what the damage rate was?

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They have a wrecker here as well, but I forgot which one it is. Gino and others would know….









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Several years ago, the Chieftain released a video with an unofficial high-speed tour of the Museum of American Armor; you can use it as another reference if you’re sitting on the fence about visiting.

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Wow thanks Sean I didn’t know that.

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That’s a pretty neat video. They have much more at the museum now, inside and out.

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Nice shots. Diamond 969. Mirror Models does a nice one in 1/35.

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![IMG_0819|375x500

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German half track. One of the staffers said he drives it around the track once in a while.




Goliath



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Oops, left one of the half track pics out

Gotta say, the models of the 37mm Pak guns just don’t convey the beefyness of these guys when you see one up close :



I only took 2 pics of the StugIII mock up, couldn’t get close enough to it as it was behind the railing.


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