Myrtle Beach adding to the Wall of Service at Warbird Park

Published: Nov. 11, 2015 at 5:03 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2015 at 1:41 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach is adding to their veteran memorial to give more people the chance of being honored for their services, by building another Wall of Service at Warbird Park.

City officials said the current wall is just about full with only 20 or so spaces left. The wall hold 2,463 names. They said it's time to add more spaces so that more people can be remembered.

Everyone who served honorably at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, whether military or civilian, is eligible to be recognized with an engraved granite nameplate on the Wall of Service at Warbird Park on Farrow Parkway.

City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said the wall has been very well received by many of the servicemen and women and their families. He said they have representation on the wall that comes from all over the country.

"Warbird Park is our homage, if you will, to the men, the women, the machinery that was the air force base," said Kruea. "And we wanted to have a chance for people to remember their service at the Air Force base."

Myrtle Beach was a military town for about 50 years… the United States Air Force formally the Army Air Corps called this city home. And Myrtle Beach's Warbird Park honors those veterans.

Many people served here. At one point around 5,000 were stationed at the Myrtle Beach Air Force base.

The Army Air Field operated here from 1940-47 and grew out of the city's plans to expand its municipal airport.  Observation and fighter squadrons trained here in World War II.  In 1947, the Army deactivated the field, but in 1954, the city again donated its airport to the United States government.  The Myrtle Beach Air Force Base operated until 1993 and was home to the 354th Fighter Day Wing/Tactical Fighter Wing.  Myrtle Beach Air Force Base deployed squadrons to Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, with major service in Germany, Cuba, Lebanon, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.

But this Wall of Service isn't just for veterans, Myrtle Beach wants to honor civilians as well.

"We had a lot of civilians who worked at the former base, too. So if you served there and your service was honorable, we're happy to have you put your name on that wall for everyone to see."

The jets here have been permanently loaned to Myrtle Beach by the U.S. Air Force. Of course they can no longer fly and have to be maintained with the paint schemes and all. But Kruea says this is just a nice way to remember this was the air force base.

If you, a family member or a loved one served on the former base between 1941 and 1993, you may purchase a nameplate for a $20 donation.  The engraved nameplates will be two inches tall by seven inches wide, in black granite.

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