Senior Master Sergeant John T. Brinkman
Service Club

John T Brinkman Service Club: a goal completed!

After a hard push for funding and volunteer work the John T Brinkman Club is has been finished! In the 15 years since the foundation has been operating this building has been a crucial piece of the base preservation and provides a new home for the museum and a place for the community to host events. In large part the completion of the project is due to your support and hard work!

Start to finish, a brief history of the restoration

On a warm summer day in 2000 the Wendover Air Field foundation made our first inspection of this service club. It was a disheartening inspection, not one of the more than 2 dozen windows was unbroken or completely missing and boarded up. There was garbage strewn across every room and included an old engine block and a non-descript 55 gallon barrel of, well, we were not quite sure of what! Walking through the dimly lit rooms and storage areas there was a heavy sad feeling and one almost expected to run into malevolent spirit wanting solitude. So, we rolled up our sleeves and started planning.

Funding of course was critical and for a few years we were able to do nothing more than clean up and fix roof leaks. As generous donors and volunteers came forward the work began in earnest in 2010. Having been able to get the original drawings we were able to remove walls and reconfigure door locations to match the original plans. Dumpster after dumpster was filled and removed as we did the demolition. Kudos to the Salt Lake Chapter of the EAA and more especially to the ladies and wives of the EAA members – they shoveled out the pigeon nests and poop! As funds were donated and hundreds of hours were completed the project progressed. The dance floor in the two story entertainment hall of the club was a big part of the job. Flooring was removed and replaced after a structural review demanded that for the long term stability of the floor the old wood had to be removed. Volunteers pulled up the old 1x4 boards and cleaned and prepared the subsurface wood. Once this was done new sheeting was screwed into place to provide a strong long lasting surface for the dance floor. During the restoration some of the original descriptions were found and the floor was originally tiled with a red and white checkerboard pattern around the outside edges and the main part of the floor was a wooden dance floor. This original design was kept but the wooden floor, long removed was replaced by a long lasting and durable MATERIAL. It is now ready for a USO dance!

Everywhere the heating ventilation and air conditioning was being installed, walls were being sheet rocked and scaffolding was everywhere as material was measured, cut and installed, much of it donated at a reduced cost to the project. With the complex wooden truss system of the roof it was a challenge at times. Up and down the scaffolding with measuring tapes in hand workers applied the old adage of “measure twice cut once”. It was great to see the work being done and with only one or two colorful adjectives it all came together.

In the restrooms the plumbing has been upgraded to meet modern codes while allowing the building to retain the authentic look and exterior fixtures. While not original to the building, tile was installed that matches the time period and provides a lasting good looking finish. All the fixtures were installed and vintage lights provide a great finished look.

The old kitchen area of the mess hall is once again ready to be pressed into use! With an ‘old’ look but the convenience of modern utilities the mess hall will be able to serve guests in a variety of capacities. Gone is the haunting darkness of the old pantry and with a brilliant white coat of paint and upgraded lighting we are sure to make the old mess hall cooks proud.

Perhaps the center piece of the building is the club bar. Beautifully rebuilt and installed it can host at least a dozen guests at a time. As you stand up to the bar it seems as if a host of young men from a by gone time should stand there with you and toast the freedoms we are able to enjoy. To complete the look the museum is looking for memorabilia that would be suitable to mount and display on the wall behind the bar in high military tradition. We have a few items already donated and ready to go but are happy to hear from you if there you have a worthy item for the wall of honor.

 

 

Plan A Visit!

Come out to Historic Wendover Airfield and learn about our unique history.  Walk where they walked!


Address: 345 S. Airport Apron, Wendover, UT 84083

Hours of Operation: The operations center, fueling service and pilots lounge are all open from 8:00am to 6:30pm - 7 days a week. Museum hours are Monday to Friday, 11:00am to 4:00pm. Saturday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Closed on Sunday.

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