General Goddard (USAF RET) Working To Restore “His” Vietnam F-100
WARBIRD RADIO – The Museum of Aviation is getting some VIP help with the restoration of a special historic fighter plane. According to a recent news release, Retired Major General Rick Goddard, former commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center from November 1997 to February 2000, is showing up in jeans these days to help bring an F-100 fighter plane back to life that’s close to his heart. The single engine-rugged fighter plane with many corroded structural parts and missing pieces is the aircraft in which Goddard flew in Vietnam some 45 years ago.
As a young fighter pilot, Goddard completed 226 combat missions in F-100s, 180 of them in this exact aircraft (#56-2995) from September 1968 to October 1969 while assigned to the 309th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Vietnam. The aircraft was eventually retired from active service in 1978 and put on display at Otis AFB, Massachusetts. The General found out about it from a web site and notified the Museum of Aviation. Museum Director Ken Emery then contacted the Massachusetts base that had the aircraft on display and negotiated a deal to trade the plane for another less significant F-100 in the Museum’s collection. The trade took place and the aircraft came to the Museum in December of 2010.
Work has slowly progressed on the restoration for the last 3 years and it will take at least another year to complete the restoration. When done, the aircraft will be displayed in the Museum’s Vietnam display hangar, known as Hangar One. In the meantime, if you see bruises on the General’s knuckles, you’ll know why.
LEFT PHOTO: Rick Goddard, left, and Museum volunteer Aaron Robinson work to restore the F-100 that Goddard flew in Vietnam.