WWII reenactment at Phil Moore Park, ft. German tiger tank

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Saturday morning, Honoring Our Heroes Inc. will present their second annual, free to attend, Operation: Anvil, The Battle for Southern France. 

The 1944 battle recreation will incorporate a recreation of a German tiger tank, one of only about five tanks left in the world. The tank features parts tank items from a real Axis tank. 

Reenactors began gather Friday night at Phil Moore Park, dressed in Allied and Axis uniforms, and setting up camps to spend the night in before the battle. 

One person who doesn’t need to use his imagination to picture WWII is Army and navy veteran 91-year-old Carl Gay.

Gay served in the WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. 

“[America] didn’t have any tanks at that time that could compete with this one,” said Gay. They knocked our tanks out. We lost one heck of a lot of tanks. They lost many, many people. I guess I’m lucky to be here, really.”

Gay’s only request to the generations reaping the fruits of his patriotism? To continue reenactments like this- to remember those troops. 

“It’s good you think of us. That always makes a veteran feel good,” said Gay.

Owner of the German tiger tank recreation, Benton Bryan, said, “I’ve always been a history buff and an enthusiast. I grew up playing with toy soldiers and playing with models, and the toys just got bigger. So, the tiger tank was the all-time finest tank of the second world war and the most feared tank. So, we were able to reconstruct just over the course of about eight years.”

Saturday’s schedule includes:

8:30 a.m. – Camp and vendors open

10:00 a.m. – Camp closed. First battle commences.

10:30 a.m. Camp/vendors reopen. Military’s vehicle rides begin.

11:00 a.m. – Veterans recognition ceremony.

12:00p.m. – Lunch period for reenactors.

2:00 – Camp closed. Second battle commences.

2:30 p.m. – Camp/vendors reopen. Military vehicle rides resume.

4:00 p.m. – Camp/vendors closed for the day.