Tower arrives at museum./Cindy Craft
ERMA — The former control tower from Atlantic City’s Bader Field Airport is now sitting on the tarmac of the Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) here awaiting restoration.
The tower will be restored and set up inside the museum’s hangar.
Dr. Joseph E. Salvatore, founder and chairman of NASW Foundation, said the tower will allow children visiting to the museum to play air traffic controller. Radios will be installed in airplanes on display on the hangar floor allowing visitors to communicate with the tower, he said.
Bader Field closed in September 2006 and was purchased by a casino development company. Use of the control tower ended in 1987 but it remained at the field.
Salvatore told the Herald his wife saw the tower on a television news report and the museum contacted Atlantic City and the Federal Aviation Administration to see if the tower could be donated to NASW.
The tower, steel girders and a catwalk arrived at the museum on two trucks Wednesday Nov. 12. The tower will sit about 30-feet above the hangar floor.
Salvatore said the age of the tower in unknown. It may date back to World War II when the field was used by the military. He noted the tower is painted in khaki color.
Bader Field has an impressive history. According the FAA, every U.S. President from Theodore Roosevelt to Gerald Ford flew into Bader Field. Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis landed at the field.
Bader was the first field to be called an airport and was the birthplace of the Civil Air Patrol.
Allegany Airlines flew commuter flights to Philadelphia and New York from Bader until the 1970s. The end of the flights led to the demise of the airport.
Salvatore thanked Atlantic City, the FAA and state Division of Aeronautics for donating the control tower to the museum. He received help from Shaw Crane Service and J.D Bailey Trucking to relocate the structure.