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Dana, aka "tankboy"


Above:  Great weather for tank chat outside the Danville Museum at our first annual Winter H*E*A*T Fun Run on December 30, 2006.


Above:  Wow! Look at how fast I can change a battery!  Smile


Above:  My Sherman, center, is being chased through town by a German King Tiger, bottom.


Above:  An intense moment at the Danville Indoor Battlefield in August of 2004.  Look at the big crowd of museum spectators!


Above:  Lots of RC tankers!  That's me, second from the left.  I use the shorter yellow rubber antenna so I don't poke someone's eye out!  You can see why!

A little about my interest in the 1/16th scale RC hobby: 

As a kid I built every 1/35th tank kit that was made by Tamiya, Monogram and Aurora.  I did lots of conversions and dioramas.  My only 1/16th scale tank was the 1/16th computerized Sherman in the late 1970's. 

I have attended every indoor battleday since the AAF Museum opened. At the first battleday I was a museum volunteer and spectator. Dick and Doug encouraged me to get into the hobby. At the second battleday Keith and Ed allowed me to drive their Shermans in the battles. I have always liked the look of the Tiger I tank so I wanted to buy one.  But Dick pointed out the overwhelming numbers of Tigers at Danville and talked me into buying an allied tank, (so they would have more targets to shoot at, no doubt!)

I purchased a Sherman and a 4-channel radio from Karen at the museum PX and had it ready to run at the third battleday. I ran it as a stock medium tank with standard green paint. I got slaughtered out there! I usually died within the first minute or two of each battle. Many times I was religated to dying on a bridge just to block it from attack. Keith and Aaron demonstrated how differently a Sherman could run as a heavy "Jumbo".  I converted mine to a heavy and did much better at battledays from then on.

Dick also pointed out how crucial teammates were to my survival and suggested I start a local allied team. About that time Tony and Kit were starting to run Allied tanks, so along with Bob G., we joined forces to train for team combat as the "702 Red Devils" in the H*E*A*T RC Tank Club. We soon figured out how the Tamiya Battle System worked best in Danville situations.  We practiced often to develop team strategies and tactics.  By 2005 things really turned around and we started winning some battles!   This culminated with our first big victories over the vaunted "Das Reich" team in September and November.   As a result, we won the "Best Tank Platoon of the Year" award for 2005.

Over the years I've pouring thousands of dollars into my humble little tank!  I bought a wireless video camera, two smoke generators, metal tracks, a new turret and gun.  I bought seven replacement gearboxes and even a second Sherman kit just to canibalize for parts!  I've run it for so long and replaced so many parts that I nicknamed it "Mostly Broken".  You can see detailed pictures of it on my Motor Pool page.

I just recently bought Doug Gasser's Tiger I so I can have something to shoot at home!

***To see pictures of my tanks, inside and out, click on the "Motor Pool" page at the left browser.



Playing with REAL tanks!


My other car is a "Jagd"!  Aberdeen Museum in 1994. 


Inspecting a re-imported "Super Sherman" awaiting restoration in 1995 at Kinston, NC.


On my first visit to Aberdeen Tank Museum in 1975, (above), they still had the Tiger I and King Tiger outdoors!  Today the Tiger I is in England awaiting a transport ship home to Aberdeen.  And today the temporary cut-away plates seen above on the King Tiger have been removed and it is safely displayed indoors at The Patton Museum at Ft. Knox.  (On this trip to Aberdeen in 1975 I also saw a Hanomag halftrack outdoors, but I think that relic has since been given away to Germany).



This is a photo of me and my little brother on top of an M4 Sherman with 105mm Howitzer in 1973 at Memorial Park in Tomahawk, Wisconsin.   Little did I know, that just one year later Tamiya would come out with the first 1/16th scale Sherman kit!...just like the one I use in my RC tank battles today!  Wow, how cool is that!  Hey, just to prove that I was the original "tankboy" of all time, please check out the fact that I have an Army surplus M1 helmet liner on my head!  Who else goes on a family camping trip in Wisconsin with a WWII helmet in the car?!?!


Here is a side view of the same M4 105mm tank in 1973.  The marking on the side is from the Wisconsin National Guard that used this tank in the Burma jungles in WWII.  I remember looking down into vents in the turret and seeing beer cans and trash.   My brothers and I crawled underneath to see if the escape hatch would open.  Today the Sherman has been restored and moved indoors.  By the way, I am not wearing an Army helmet in THIS picture...that is my 1973 hair style!!!   And once again, only a true "tankboy" would go on vacation with an Army surplus inert hand grenade!!   I guess I'm very "Trekkie-like" when it comes to tanks!

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