The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


February 25, 2013

F-4D Phantom Jet finds home in Florence, Ala.


"When I first came out here about 10 years ago, there were not even any flags flying," he said. "I started working with the Parks and Recreation Department and the mayor's office, and we've added a lot of things through the years."

Disassembling the plane and putting it back together again was a two-week process, not counting weather breaks and transportation time, said Marty Batura, one of the owners of Worldwide Aircraft Recovery, who was on site to help with the work.

"Each aircraft has its own personality," he said, "depending on how hard it was flown and its condition. This one is a pretty good bird, but it has its quirks."

Batura said his Omaha, Neb.-based company has been in business for 16 years, and he has travelled around the country many times. He said the Florence veterans memorial is one of the best of its size he has seen.

"I'm really impressed with the pieces here," he said. "This is really dedicated to the men and women in service. It's important to give them their due credit for their sacrifices."

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