In 1995, efforts began to obtain a Skyhawk Attack Bomber. The Tipton County Veterans’ Council envisioned the bomber as a compliment to the planned Tipton County Museum, Veterans’ Memorial, and Nature Center that was to be placed nearby. In 1996, the bomber was procured and subsequently loaned to the City of Covington by the National Museum of Naval Aviation. The bomber underwent extensive renovation. The name of Captain Nels Tanner was added to the jet as a permanent tribute to this Tipton County hero’s service during the Vietnam Conflict. Captain Tanner was piloting a similar aircraft when he was shot down over North Vietnam on Oct. 9, 1966. He was captured and spent almost seven years incarcerated in Hanoi as a Prisoner of War.
Patriot Park was dedicated on Nov. 11, 2004, with the A-4L Skyhawk Attack Bomber as its centerpiece.