Illinois town and national veterans group partner to restore historic aircraft in park

Edwardsville Township, Illinois has partnered with a dedicated group of community volunteers and the Edwardsville Community Foundation to complete a much-needed restoration of the U.S. Navy A-7E Corsair II aircraft that has long been on display at Edwardsville Township Community Park.

The Park has long been a place of gathering for the residents of the community. Township leadership vision coupled with volunteerism and community philanthropy are at the heart of many recent additions and improvements to the park. Once again, Edwardsville Township is pleased to facilitate a community partnership at the park in honoring the military heritage of township residents.

Now, the Edwardsville Township has signed a contract with the Flight Deck Veterans Group to restore the historic aircraft. “The aircraft is in phenomenal shape given the minimal maintenance it has received,” said Flight Deck Veterans Group Local Project Manager Larry Thatcher.

On May 16, 2017 the famed Corsair was lowered from the display pylon by Keller Construction at the Robert C. Stille Edwardsville Township Community Park.

Edwardsville Township Supervisor Frank Miles and other staff are on hand as the plane came off its display for restoration. Miles said the plane will be positioned close to its present position on the ground for the restoration project. Eventually, a tent will cover the plane and it will be fenced off for security.

The restoration should take four to six weeks, Miles said, and it will be placed back on its original place on the display pylon. The aircraft has remained on the pylon since it was originally installed in Township Park by Keller Construction in 1991.

Back in October of 2016, Edwardsville Township approved a contract with the Flight Deck Veterans Group, a nationwide nonprofit organization based in Tennessee for the restoration of the historic aircraft on display at Township Park.

The Flight Deck Veterans Group restores aircraft as a part of its mission of veterans serving veterans, and to pass on the history and legacy of veterans and flight deck operations.

See full RiverBender article.

See Mission Preservation website & photo credits.

See Flight Deck Veterans Group article by Dan Brannan + photo credit.

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