EATON, Ohio (WDTN)- A military tank with historic roots in the Miami Valley is back home in Eaton. The tank was parked in Eaton back in 1957 to honor WWII and Korean War veterans.
The landmark abruptly disappeared from Main Street and ended up in Columbus because Eaton could not prove it was given as a gift to the town.
Recently, the city of Eaton found the proof they needed and now the tank is back home.
Only it isn’t just a tank. It’s now called “Miss Preble”.
“People in town, when they were kids, would go play on the tank. It was a great memory. When they took it…it was bad,” said Bob Shafer.
“If you went to Eaton..they would say, remember the tank? Ya, they knew what the tank was. Everybody remembers the tank,” he laughed.
“People were devastated. People were crying and everything when they took that tank out,” said Fred Eck as he watched the Miss Preble return home.
Eck remembers the man who drove the tank into Eaton. He recalled the scene when the tank was taken away in 2012.
“When they took it away, he was there. He was in a wheelchair. He was in such bad shape. I..I think it killed him.”
Without it, the tank may have never returned home.
“It was not an easy journey by any means. Five years later, we have our tank back and she’s beautiful,” said Tina Marker of the Preble County Heritage.
The people of Eaton hope to inspire communities across the country.
“Today in Eaton, is a reminder of what is best about America. Miss Preble pays tribute to those who have served in the past and inspires future generations to take up their post,” said Jonathan Flora, a Walt Disney Studio Producer and a local from Eaton.
Miss Preble is proudly on display in a new location outside of Fort St. Clair Park.