††† ebook† History of Watertown, Wisconsin
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.
09 17†††††† AERO PARK PROPOSED
The Watertown Airport Commissionís concept for an area to allow the public to view airplane takeoffs and landings has blossomed into a new park area for the city.† In recent months the commission has been seeking support among various service clubs to help finance a small parking area along the northern edge of the airport property and Boomer Street.† When this word got to members of the Marine Corps League little time was wasted before the veteranís organization put its full support behind not just a parking area but an entire park.
07 18†††††† ANNUAL DEDICATION OF A STATUE
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.
07 23†††††† 9/11 CEREMONY AT AERO PARK
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†††† [WDTimes article]†
†† Astronaut Dan Brandenstein is shown standing with a monument to his accomplishments in space at Aero Park on the cityís south side.† The monument is also a memorial to those lost in the 9/11 disasters and all who served their country.
08 17†††††† RON KRUEGER WILL BE HONORED
Ron Krueger, former Watertown mayor and also current commander of Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, will be honored by having the Veterans Statue at Marine Corps League Aero Park named after him on Saturday, Aug. 25.
Krueger is a 1964 graduate of Watertown High School and a 1969 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelorís degree in marketing and finance.† He was drafted in the U.S. Army in April of 1969 and was honorably discharged in April of 1971 with the rank of specialist 5.† He served in New York City five months before being assigned to Stuttgart, Germany, for 15 months.
During his career, Krueger owned or managed businesses involved in landscape construction, publishing, hospitality and trucking.† He served in city government for a number of years. He was elected an alderman in 1992 and served 13 of the next 15 years in that capacity, four of which he served as council president. He was elected mayor of the city in April of 2007 and held that position for two three-year terms.
Upon his retirement from the mayorís position in 2013, he became more involved with the Legion post, serving two years as finance officer, one year as second vice commander and is currently in his third year as post commander. He is also a member of the American Legion State Bowling Committee and has served as its president.††† [WDTimes article]††
History of Watertown, Wisconsin