EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Missing a Frisbee or a soccer ball from the last 26 years?
If so, you might want to look inside the belly of a historic airplane in Edwardsville Township.
“It’s full of soccer balls, footballs, baseballs and golf balls. Over the years, folks have thrown them all into the back through the exhaust,” said Edwardsville Township Supervisor Frank Miles.
On Monday, a random collection of sporting goods was found inside the tailpipe of the A-7E Corsair that sits on top of a pedestal at Airplane Community Park.
It was an unexpected discovery that came as crews lowered the retired single engine U.S. Navy bomber to the ground.
Miles said about one item, “There’s a name, a phone number and an e-mail address. We’re going to reach out and let this person know we have their Frisbee.”
The plane was once stationed on the USS Nimitz.
It arrived at the park in 1991 on loan from the Department of Defense after being taken out of service and stripped of its parts.
Its original purpose was to honor those who served in Desert Storm. But now it’s in need of a complete remodel and renovation.
“It’s going back to its original condition, original markings, original colors and numbers,” Miles said.
The $30,000 project is expected to take four to six weeks. Funding comes from area businesses, the township and other donations.
It’s all being led by the Flight Deck Veterans Group, a non-profit organization based in Tennessee that restores naval aircraft.
Miles said anyone who’s interested should contact the township office.
He said he’s excited for the community to see the finished version, and to potentially come collect all their stuff.
“It’s a symbol of the community. It’s a symbol of the park,” he said.
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