The Park's Dedication: Robert "Bobby" Cardinal Park is named in honor of Robert Ainsley Cardinal, Jr. who served as the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport Manager from 1968 until his untimely tragic death in 1977. Mr. Cardinal was instrumental in the early development of the Airport and oversaw lengthening of runways, construction of a terminal and facilities, and contributed to the vast improvement of the commercial air service in Tuscaloosa. Additionally, Mr. Cardinal avidly furthered aviation interests, serving as a flight instructor in WWII before becoming active in many civic and business affairs. Mr. Cardinal also served as a board member and aviation committee chairman for the Chamber of Commerce, was a trustee of the Tuscaloosa Academy, and a member of the Exchange Club of Tuscaloosa. The T-33 trainer plane, “Shooting Star,” which accompanies the Park’s entrance sign, was gifted to the City of Tuscaloosa in 1963 by the Air Force. The T-33 was formerly located at Jaycee Park, but was airlifted to the Airport by helicopter ahead of the Park’s dedication ceremony on September 17, 1981.