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Medellin eyes tourist site for excavated WWII tank

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 08,2020 - 08:00 AM
Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr. said they are eyeing to place the remains of M5A1 Stuart tank used by the US Army during World War II near Dagusungan River where it was unearthed. | Photo courtesy of Medellin LGU

Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr. are planning to place the remains of M5A1 Stuart Tank used by the US Army during World War II near Dagusungan River where it was unearthed. | Photo courtesy of Medellin LGU

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Medellin may soon have another local tourist attraction.

The town’s local government plans to put up a site to give visitors and enthusiasts of history the chance to see personally the WWII tank of the US Army that was recently excavated by experts.

Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr. said they would place the remains of the M5A1 Stuart Tank near Dagusungan River where it was unearthed.

Read: Medellin town recovers WWII tank submerged in Dagusungan River

The M5A1 Stuart tank was one of the light tanks of the US Army used during World War II (WWII).

“We will mount it near the extraction site for heritage and tourism purposes, it being historically significant during WWII,” Mondigo told CDN Digital in a text message.

Until recently, the excavation for the tank, which was started way back in the 1970s, had been fruitless.

Only its turret was retrieved and is now on display in the Bogo-Medellin Milling Company Inc. (Bomedco) plaza.

10-day operation in Medellin

But on March 7, the excavation team led by the 53rd Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army successfully brought the tank onshore after a 10-day operation.

“And we are so happy for the successful extraction after failed attempts in 2018,” Mondigo added.

Read: In Photos: 53rd Engineering Brigade leads recovery of WWII tank

Also part of the retrieval operations team included members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Medellin Police Station and the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT).

The motorpool, engineering, and disaster units of Medellin town also participated in the retrieval operations of the WWII tank.

Mondigo had been vocal about his plans to unearth the historical tank as a means to drive the cultural and heritage tourism of Medellin, a 2nd-class municipality located 120 kilometers north of Cebu City.

In 2018, the local government of Medellin also initiated the unearthing of the WWII tank.

Historians believed that the tank fell and eventually submerged in the Dagusungan River when Japanese troopers bombed it./dbs

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