By HUNTER CHANEY, Collings Foundation
With the sun glinting off the polished canopy, Bud Day grasped the yellow boarding ladder of his F-100F “Hun” and proceeded to make the long climb to the cockpit. Strapping into the ejection seat, he scanned the tarmac below. He had done this countless instances before — counting down the minutes before the start of anther sortie. This time, however, he was not looking at the surroundings of Phu Cat Air Base in South Vietnam. Instead, he viewed his family and friends, all eager to see him take to the sky for one last mission. Over four decades had passed since his last combat flight in the venerable “Hun,” but as the jet engine roared to life and the aircraft taxied to the runway, “his” airplane felt like home.