Officials from the Bremerton Parks and Recreation Department held a rededication ceremony for the newly renovated Naval Ammunition Depot Soroptimist Park Aug. 4.
During the ceremony, officials unveiled a recently repainted F8-H Crusader fighter jet from the Vietnam War to the Sailors and civilians in attendance.
“Today is a great day in Bremerton,” said Marion Hersey, master of ceremony for the rededication. “We have the pleasure of sharing all this hard work we have put in with all of you here.”
The renovation of the park and repainting of the Crusader was completed with volunteers from Bremerton and Naval Base Kitsap.
“The Sailors who helped with this really put in a ton of effort,” said Hersey. “They have been out here with us for over a year now helping out with the project.”
Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) performed repairs to the jet, while Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) cleaned and restored the jet to its original 1968 color scheme.
“This was definitely a neat ceremony,” said Bill Metzger, retired Navy Vietnam War pilot. “I just want to congratulate all the Sailors and others involved with the project. It really turned out great.”
The Crusader originally belonged to the “Sundowners” of Fighter Squadron (VF) 11 and assigned to the decommissioned Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Shrangri-La (CV 38).
“It is a fitting tribute to the warriors of our time and brings back a lot of memories,” said Metzger.
Press Release, August 7, 2013; Image: Navy