Steve let me know that this is a circa 1905-06 Royal Tourist, with a 'King of the Belgians' body
style ('Roi-des-Belges' - originally known as the 'Tonneau de Grand
Luxe'). It is fitted with 8” Gray and Davis bullet-style headlamps of the
After World War II, the historic tank’s whereabouts were unknown, and remained so until 2004.
That year, army Chaplain Keith Goode became curious about the old tank on display near the back gate of the US Army’s Rose Barracks at Vilseck, Germany. After examining the tank, he came to believe it was actually the famous Cobra King. Armor experts looked into the matter, and in December 2008 they officially confirmed the tank’s identity.
In July 2009, the US Army Center of Military History shipped Cobra King from Germany to the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for restoration work.
When the tank was identified in Germany, it was missing its engine, so the team at Fort Knox faced the challenge of finding a period replacement. And Cobra King’s original tracks were difficult to restore because they had a unique addition: a duckbill, or metal extension used to compensate for the tank’s extra weight when traveling over marshland.
Cobra King’s war service didn’t end with that triumphant moment at Bastogne on December 26, 1944. In fact, damage from later combat would prevent restoration of the tank’s interior.
Physical evidence showed that an explosion caused an internal fire, destroying the tank’s interior, and causing the famous “First in Bastogne” tank to be unceremoniously abandoned.
Cobra King is now in storage at Fort Benning, says Dyer, and functions as an educational tool for the US Army Armor School. According to Dyer, the tank will eventually be displayed at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum at Fort Benning, still in the process of raising construction funds.
In addition to Cobra King, the National Armor and Cavalry Museum will feature the armor collection previously displayed at the Patton Museum at Fort Knox.
Above was the insignia for the USS Escambia (AO-80) fleet refueler.
Created by famed Disney artist Hank Porter, the man responsible for creating the lion’s share of combat designs at the studio during the war.
Escambia fueled ships during the invasion of the Marshall Islands, aircraft carriers as they launched strikes against the Philippines, task forces vessels supporting the invasion of Okinawa, and aircraft flying raids against Japan.
This mobile naval gas station was represented by a 50-gallon drum and Jose Carioca, a character made famous in Disney’s two South American films, Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros.
The cover of the 13th Armored Division’s greeting card featured the unit’s Disney-designed insignia, a collection of bad luck symbols. Men in this unit paid no attention to the superstitious overtones of their unit number. They felt it was the enemy who would suffer misfortune when encountering them.
UPDATE 4:29 p.m. PST: Additional vehicles have caught on fire, including a boat and a semi-truck carrying other cars. The 15 Freeway is shut down in both directions and the blaze has exploded to 500 acres.
Stalin agreed with Mariya Oktyabrskaya's request and the eager fighter was quickly sent off to complete three months of training. Her male superiors were skeptical of the 38-year-old widow, but she soon proved herself and became a mechanic and driver in the 26th Guard Tank Brigade.
Whatever doubts Soviet officers had about Oktyabrskaya's combat skills quickly dissipated following her first Nazi encounter. During that first skirmish, the newly minted soldier obliterated dozens of Nazi soldiers and anti tank guns and was the first service member to breach the German line of defense. For her heroic performance, Oktyabrskaya was promoted to sergeant.
The vengeful widow proved herself again during a night raid in November 1943 when a bazooka team blasted the tracks of her tank.
Instead of holing up in her machine's cockpit, she risked life and limb by hopping out. As her peers covered for her, Oktyabrskaya was able to fix the tread and climb back into the tank to continue her war path. She would do this twice more in battle.
Oktyabrskaya's final battle took place the following year. The Soviet sergeant led the unit into the Nazi's line of fire with such skill that she made it across two enemy trenches before her tracks were blasted by enemy guns. One last time, Oktyabrskaya hopped out to fix them. As she was working, a German artillery shell exploded close by and the widow was struck with shrapnel that sent her into an immediate coma.
Two months after "Fighting Girlfriend"'s final battle, Sergeant Mariya Oktyabrskaya succumbed to her injury and joined her husband in death. Five months later, she was posthumously awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union award, the highest honor bestowed upon service members who fought in combat.