General Dynamics F-111 ``Aardvark``

The General Dynamics F-111 “Aardvark” was a supersonic, medium-range tactical attack aircraft that also served as a strategic bomber and provided aerial reconnaissance. Developed in the 1960’s, it first entered service in 1967 with the United States Air Force.  It was the first aircraft to have production moveable swept wings, the first to have turbofan engines which gave it the power to fly supersonically at low altitude and the efficiency to fly to Europe without refueling. Its electronics allowed it to fly at night, in any weather, hugging the ground to avoid detection. The aircraft proudly served in Viet Nam; as our front line nuclear defense during the Cold War; in the raid on Ghaddafi’s Libyan headquarters; and in Desert Storm. They were finally retired in 1996. Australia continued to use the F-111 until 2010. Truly an aircraft our Veterans hold in high respect.


Technical Specs

  • Retired: 1998
  • Weight: 47,180 lbs
  • Serial #: 2/563
  • Introduced: July 18, 1967
  • Length: 75′
  • Wingspan: 72′

This historic F-111 was relocated from Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum in Rantoul, Illinois to the Waukegan National Airport to help serve as a gateway to welcome tourists and visitors to the area. Plans are for this plane to be a featured attraction at a proposed Veterans Plaza to be created on a site at the Waukegan Airport once it has been reassembled and restored to its original condition. Please consider being a part of history by making a donation to meet our fund-raising goal.

The Lake County Veterans Memorial plaza offers a meaningful and engaging experience that recognizes the sacrifices, courage and valor of all Veterans and their service to our country. Highlighted by an actual F-111A Aardvark that is prominently displayed in an intimate park-like setting at Waukegan National Airport. This memorial is designed to honor both past and present Veterans and to educate future generations about the enormous costs of freedom.

The Lake County Veterans Memorial concept started with the acquisition of an aircraft from Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, IL. Faced with a loss of funding, the museum was forced with relocating its exhibit aircraft or having them scrapped. Waukegan National Airport applied for one of these aircraft and was awarded the use of this F-111 Aardvark. It was felt that the best use of this aircraft is to anchor a county-wide Veteran’s Park and Memorial. To be situated at the Waukegan National Airport, this Memorial, in an intimate park-like setting, would honor all veterans – past and present – in all branches of service.

The aircraft has recently been restored, as many years of outdoor exhibition has taken its toll. The site of the plaza has been selected, and the design and engineering work has recently been completed.  Site preparation is underway, but the massive cost of this project has slowed progression. Please help us complete this wonderful memorial by volunteering or donating.   See the “Donations” tab to see how you can help or purchase a memorial brick via the link on the home page.

Thank you for your support and encouragement!