At the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China, "Gongchen"
Tank led the tank group to attend the dress parade on the Tian'anmen
Meritorious Service Tank
One day in November 1945, the Chinese Northeast People's Autonomous Army
captured a Japanese-type tank from the enemy. When they drove the tank into
Majiawanzi, where the headquarters of the Northeast Artillery Force was located,
Zhu Rui, commander of the Northeast Artillery Force and commandant of Artillery
School at the time, said: "What you have brought here is not only a tank, but an
armored force for the PLA." On December 1, Zhu Rui announced the establishment
of the Northeast Tank Group of the PLA and named this Japanese-type tank as
No.102 Tank, which became the first tank of the PLA Armored Force.
Thereafter No.102 Tank participated in many battles, such as the battle to
capture Jinzhou and the battle to liberate Tianjin, etc, this tank displayed its
prowess and achieved dazzling feats. In 1948, when it took part in the
Liaoxi-Shenyang Campaign to attack Jinzhou, it was assigned to cover the
infantry to break through the Kuomintang army's peripheral defense works in the
old section of the city. After this battle, the Fourth Field Army named No.102
Tank "Meritorious Service Tank".
At the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China, Dong Laifu
drove this "Meritorious Service Tank" to lead over 100 pieces of heavy- and
medium- tanks to pass through the Tian'anmen Square to be reviewed by the Party
and state leaders.
This "Meritorious Service Tank" was sent to the Military Museum of Chinese
People's Revolution in 1959 when it was decommissioned and placed in the front
hall of the Weaponry Hall as a piece of "meritorious service weapon".
By Tian Jinling and Cheng Yonghong
(July 23, PLA Daily)