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Renault FT-17 Tank

"Five of Hearts"

This tank, armed with a 37mm main gun, was given by the French to the American Tank Corps.  It saw action in the St. Mihiel Salient, the Toul, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives.  It was named  "Five of Hearts" deriving from the practice of assigning suits and numbers from playing cards to identify tanks.

In October 1918, the "Five of Hearts" was assigned to Company C, 344th Tank Battalion, supporting the 16th Infantry in the Fleville sector of the Meuse-Argonne.  Overrunning the German lines, this tank was hit over 1300 times.  One crew-man was killed and at least two others were injured.  Due to the bravery of the crew, the tank broke through the German lines allowing members of the 16th Infantry to take advantage of the opening.  Click here to read more about this incident and more about Army values.

In 1919, the 344th Tank Battalion was ordered to return to Camp Meade, Maryland.  They brought the "Five of Hearts" with them as a memorial to all men of the Tank Corps in World War I.  The tank has been here since that time usually in front of a headquarters or at one of the entrances to the installation.