F-14A Tomcat Fighter Going Home to Calverton

October 19,1998 - Press Release

Calverton NY – Steve Kirschenbaum, chairperson of East End Aircraft LI Corporation has announced that the U.S. Navy-supplied F-14A Tomcat Fighter will move to its permanent site at the new Grumman Memorial Park in Calverton on Sunday, October 25, 1998.

The Town of Riverhead recently adopted a resolution allocating a ten-acre parcel on the former Grumman facility in Calverton to the group as the home for Grumman Memorial Park. The Tomcat was one of over 700 built at the facility between 1971 and 1992, and was provided to the Town by the U.S. Navy in January of this year.

According to Kirschenbaum, "Grumman Memorial Park is dedicated the thousands of Long Islanders who were part of our amazing aviation heritage. From early fighter planes to the LEM and putting man on the moon, Long Island has made an indelible mark on our country’s aviation history. The people who were the heart of a company called Grumman should not be forgotten." Plans for the site include the Tomcat in a permanent, outdoor display, surrounded by a brick "Grumman Walk Of Honor" featuring bricks engraved with the names of former Grumman employees and supporters. Future plans include construction of an aviation museum and history center.

The F-14A has been housed at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton since January. It will be towed 16 miles over road by U.S. Army National Guard personnel with Town of Riverhead, NY State and Suffolk County police as escort. The plane will leave Gabreski at approximately 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 25th. The route will take the fighter north from the airport to Route 105, then west on Route 58 to the Calverton site, with an estimated arrival time of 9 a.m.

Riverhead High School’s NJROTC unit and members of the Long Island Civil Air Patrol will assist the caravan in removing any obstructions along the route.

"We wish we could have made the transport into a celebration parade," said Kirschenbaum. "But given the size of the plane itself we’ll be blocking off the entire roadway as we travel, and we can only go about 5 miles per hour. We just can’t tie up these major thoroughfares during daytime hours, so we’re leaving before dawn to avoid major traffic problems along the route."

For those who wish to view the move, there are several excellent vantage points along Route 58 in Riverhead at the major shopping centers. Kirschenbaum suggests arriving early to avoid traffic. The aircraft is expect to move east along Route 58 between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Grumman Memorial Park is a project of East End Aircraft LI Corporation, a 501C3 not-for-profit organization. For further information on how to donate or volunteer, call 516-369-9488, write to East End Airport LI Corp., PO Box 147, Calverton NY 11933

East End Aircraft has recently acquired grants toward construction/beautification of Grumman Memorial Park from the following groups:
Towards marketing material from the people of Northrop-Grumman
Townscape of Riverhead town
Retired Military Officers of Suffolk County
Rotary Club of Riverhead
Grumman Retirees of Eastern Suffolk County
Bethpage Federal Credit Union