World War II Weekend features tanks made in Berwick returning home

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BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The community of Berwick played a key role in World War II and now they want to take locals and visitors on a trip back in time.

Berwick was once critical to the war effort, turning out tens of thousands of tanks during World War II. This production coming out of the town was so important, it caught the eye of Hitler himself.

“When you think about it, if actions by the Axis Powers were actually followed through, Berwick Pennsylvania could have been a target on the map that we would have a different story to tell,” Kristen Bogash, World War II Weekend event coordinator said.

Early Thursday morning, members of the Stuart Tank Memorial Association hit the road to bring a former World War II tank home.

“We bought our first tank that lives here, and here we are three more years, we’ve made arrangements with the Marine Museum in Quantico, Virginia, we’ll be getting our second one that’ll be housed at our museum,” David Kovach, President of the Stuart Tank Memorial Association.

There are only a few of the Stuart Tanks still around, and few Berwick residents remember the key role the borough played in winning the war. Now the community is pulling together for a World War II weekend filled with historic re-enactments.

“A lot of people don’t know that tidbit of history, and Berwick is their hometown, or it’s right in their backyard and just being able to help people realize that there’s a lot of historical significance coming out of Berwick,” Bogash said.

Saturday and Sunday’s World War II Weekend will showcase the “Greatest Generation”.

“We bring history alive,” Kovach said. “We bring you right back into the 1940s during the war.”

But it’s all about remembering the past, with an eye to the future.

“We’re bringing people into the area just to show them what Berwick is all about and the contributions in Berwick itself,” Bogash said.

The Fourth Annual World War II Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday at the Riverfront Test Track Park in Berwick. Events begin at 10 am on both days.

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