ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Aero Park

Marine Corps League Aero Park on Boomer Street.

This park is fully maintained by the Bartelme-Schwefel Marine Corps League

volunteer members at no cost to Watertown taxpayers.


On the north side of the airport off of Boomer Street, you will find the Marine Corps League Aero Park.  This facility has been developed by the Watertown Marine Corps League and serves multiple purposes.  First and foremost, it is a memorial to fallen Marines with life-sized statues and plaques commemorating various Marine Corps activities.  It also includes a 911 memorial to those who fell when the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001.  Additionally, it includes a pavilion and restroom facilities, which makes it a great place to have a picnic.


The park is directly adjacent to the approach end of Runway 23 at the Watertown Airport, making it a fun place to watch the planes land.



07 18       The Bartelme-Schwefel Detachment of the Marine Corps League will be dedicating a statue at Aero Park Saturday that will be named after a local senior veteran each year.  The first veteran to have this honor will be Watertown resident Frank Fries, who served with the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet aboard the USS Wichita in World War II.  At the age of 17, Fries dropped out of high school and signed up for four years in the Navy in 1942.  Fries was one of the gunners on the USS Wichita, a heavy cruiser that patrolled the North African waters and Pacific Ocean during World War II.  The ship was part of a convoy that set sail for Okinawa, Japan, in March 1945, in the last great invasion of World War II.


2012      9/11 ceremony at Aero Park

07 23       Area residents showed up in force Saturday afternoon to attend the dedication of the newly constructed 9/11 Memorial at Aero Park in Watertown.


Several hundred people crowded in a large semi-circle around the memorial to pay their respects to the victims of the 9/11 attacks and to watch as the final piece of the memorial, a steel box beam from the south tower, was lowered into place.


The 600-pound, 4-foot-long, by 14-inch, by-14 inch, steel beam was placed on a flatbed truck along with 50 flags and escorted by the Watertown Police and Fire departments from Jerry Hepp Excavating Inc., at 842 West St., to the park. Memorial designer Steve Hepp said many residents were out on the street taking pictures and videos as the procession passed by.


During the dedication the steel beam was lowered into place on a pedestal at the front of the memorial. The entire memorial was built in the shape of the Pentagon and along with the steel beam features two model World Trade Center towers, memorial plaques honoring the people killed during the 9/11 attacks, a model Statue of Liberty and statues of police officers, firefighters and soldiers.


After the 9/11 Memorial dedication was complete the Bartelme-Schwefel Detachment Marine Corps League honored retired veteran Louie Checkai, of Watertown, as the 2012 Veteran of the Year. Checkai was born in Watertown in 1929 and served in the Army National Guard for 41 years. He was presented with a plaque in honor of his award.  During the ceremony a flyover was completed by the Yellow Bird Warplane.   WDT


Slide show of portfolio of images

September 11 ceremony at Aero Park


07 28         Brandenstein pays visit to hometown; a WDTimes article

   Astronaut Dan Brandenstein is shown standing with a monument to his accomplishments in space at Aero Park on the city’s south side.  The monument is also a memorial to those lost in the 9/11 disasters and all who served their country.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin