Sharon Ramsay couldn’t speak when asked what the event meant to her. Instead, she wiped her eyes and stared at the handsome aircraft just a few feet away.
Sunday was the dedication of a F-100D Super Sabre fighter bomber at the MAPS Air Museum near Akron-Canton Airport. Her husband, Air Force Lt. Ken Ramsay, was the crew chief in the rebuilding project — a seven-year labor of love.
“This dedication is not a sad remembrance of a fallen hero,” Ken Ramsay told a crowd of about 200. “Today’s dedication celebrates the revival, the reawakening and the restoration of a fallen hero.…”
Ramsay, of Solon, was a Super Sabre pilot during a period when millions of people feared that the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union could become nuclear hot. What many don’t know, Ramsay explained, is that the Super Sabre was designed to carry nuclear bombs.
The man was among the American pilots who were always on call to defend and attack if needed, including during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962.
The 74-year-old has worked about 16 hours a week, 45 weeks a year, restoring the jet at a cost of more than $12,000 — paid for by Ramsay and the museum.
There are about 470 members of MAPS, an organization of volunteers that does everything from restoring aircraft to helping with special events. Some of those folks worked together to bring the jet, which was dug out of a swamp in Florida, to Ohio to be reconstructed.
“It is incredibly cool to see it come full circle,” said Ramsay’s son, Tom, of Worthington.
Last year, volunteers donated more than 35,000 hours to work on some of the 32 aircraft at various stages of restoration at the museum.
Ramsay beamed as he stood before the crowd thanking the dozens who helped him bring a part of history back to life. And by the look on his face, there was no better time than Father’s Day to feel like a proud papa.
Kim Hone-McMahan can be reached at 330-996-3742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.