Hemlock III Restoration

Craig Moore reports on ‘Hemlock III’, an original M24 Chaffee tank brought back to life after years of disrepair

M24 Chaffee ‘Hemlock III’ marked up as a vehicle belonging to A Squadron of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars, 7th Armoured Division
pictures Craig Moore & Armoured Engineering Ltd

Following the end of World War Two, this M24 Chaffee tank saw extensive service with the Danish Army. When the vehicle was eventually replaced by a more modern tank, it spent many years on a concrete plinth as a gate guardian in Denmark. Unfortunately, all the belly plate drain plugs were left in – the normal practice is to remove them so that any water ingress can drain away. After a while, tanks will inevitably let in water as rubber seals perish. For many years though, with water unable to drain away, this tank was filled to a depth of around two feet – covering the floor ammo racks.

Eventually, the vehicle was purchased from the Danish army by a private collector and was shipped to the UK – subsequently being stored on a driveway in Watford. In 2016 it was sold to military vehicle enthusiast and collector William Bannister, along with a substantial amount of spares for restoration. He commissioned Gavin Barlow and his team at Armoured Engineering Ltd to conduct an extensive internal and external restoration.

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