National Museum of the United States Air Force, Memorial Park:
The museum’s Memorial Park honors Air Force-associated units and people for their courageous service and sacrifice in the cause of freedom. In October 1972, the museum dedicated the first memorial with a commemorative tree and plaque recognizing Americans held as Prisoners of War by the North Vietnamese and those missing in action during the Southeast Asia Conflict. Memorial Park has grown significantly since that first dedication, with more than 500 memorials, including statuary memorials, plaques, trees and benches.
A new section of the memorial park (located to the West of the existing park) was opened during the Summer of 2011 and has an expanding number of Memorials. This is where the NMUSAF would locate our Memorial.
In addition to the actual memorial cost, the donating organization must budget for a sturdy concrete pad, a memorial park maintenance fee, and other organizational expenses. After the initial design is complete, organizations may subsequently add memorial content, which is an option the Executive Committee is considering in our conceptual designs. The tactical fund-raising target of $50,000 was the Committee’s initial memorial estimate; as of Oct. 31st, we have reached 84% of that goal. We will derive a second “operational” target, up to a maximum of $100,000 (per NMUSAF memorial guidance), based upon feedback from the memorial fabrication companies and the F/FB/EF-111 community.
After installation of a new memorial, there is often a dedication event; a recent example is the Gold Star Family Memorial dedication in November of 2018.
F/FB/EF-111 Memorial Design Maturation
The F-111 Memorial Foundation Executive Committee surveyed the community twice to discern memorial design content; both surveys had similar results. The top three desired design elements are: representing the three basic design series (F/FB/EF), Combat Operations, and Squadron designations. The next four elements in order priority were: Bases Assigned, Wing designations, Aircraft depictions, and Personnel Losses.
In July and August 2020, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LM Aero) offered some conceptual designs for our use, which serve as reference points for executive committee discussions with local memorial fabrication companies. In coordination with NMUSAF personnel and local memorial fabrication companies, work continues to evolve the F/FB/EF-111 memorial design, as we strive to represent the many aspects of aircraft operations. Ultimately, fabrication cost versus funds raised will determine memorial size and composition.
Click Chart To Expand