The Township Board has approved a contract for the restoration of the historic U.S. Navy A7E Corsair on display at the Robert C. Stille Edwardsville Township Community Park, 6368 Center Grove Road in Edwardsville, Township Supervisor Frank Miles announced.
The board approved a contract with the Flight Deck Veterans Group, a Tennessee-based national nonprofit organization that restores aircraft as part of its mission of serving veterans and passing on the history and legacy of veterans and flight deck operations.Working with the Flight Deck Veterans Group, the township will determine the restoration project’s period of service.
“We have learned that our aircraft took her maiden cruise in 1975 off the deck of the USS Nimitz, where she was stationed until 1980,” Township Supervisor Frank Miles said. “In 1982, our aircraft served on the USS JFK, and from 1984 to 1996 she served on the USS Saratoga. All deployments for our aircraft were Mediterranean cruises.
“As we learn more about our historic aircraft, we want to know how our residents are connected to the aircraft or to A7 Corsairs,” he said. “Maybe their family member served on the USS Nimitz during this time or helped to build or repair A7 Corsairs. Who was at the park 25 years ago when the aircraft was delivered? We are looking for local connections to our aircraft.”
“The Flight Deck Veterans Group is excited to help the community bring this historic aircraft to life,” said Jared Ashley, CEO and founder of the Fight Deck Veterans Group. “We are honored to be a part of this project.” The veterans group has restored historic aircraft across the country, including an F-14 Tomcat on display on the historic USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C.; and the Fast Eagle 102, the first F-14 Tomcat to shoot down another aircraft in combat, on display at the Commemorative Air Force’s High Sky Wing in Midland, Texas.
For more information about the Fight Deck Veterans Group, visit www.fdvg.org
Thanks to Carmelo Turdo of The Aero Experience for the photo of the Corsair.