An F-100F Super Sabre will join the Collings Foundation’s Vietnam Memorial Flight in honor of Vietnam War hero Col. Bud Day, MISTY pilots and all Vietnam Veterans.
Medal of Honor recipients, Vietnam Veterans and POWs from around the country will celebrate the roll out and commemoration of the F-100F Super Sabre jet (first super sonic jet) at a special event March 29 featuring Col. Day. This rare Vietnam icon will join the F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk and UH-1E “Huey” helicopter that the Collings Foundation flies in honor of Vietnam veterans.
No pilot was more skilled or accomplished than Day, particularly in Vietnam, where the unit he led was renowned for its daring and successful missions into enemy airspace to destroy SAM sites and rescue downed comrades, according to Collings Foundation officials. But on his 67th raid, Day’s F-100F jet was shot down over North Vietnam. He managed to escape from the enemy forces that discovered him, and after an epic three-week ordeal, he made it to South Vietnam. Just a few miles away from safety and freedom, however, he was recaptured and taken to the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he quickly became one of the leaders of the Americans held there. Those Americans included such extraordinary figures as James Stockdale, Robbie Risner, Orson Swindle and John McCain. And it was Bud Day who helped his fellow soldiers survive in the most horrible conditions imaginable, who never broke under torture, who never let them forget that they were Americans. (An exact quote from Robert Coram’s book “American Patriot”)
Today, the Collings Foundation’s F-4 Phantom, A-4 Skyhawk, UH-1E “Huey” helicopter and now, the F-100F Super Sabre, represent some of the most significant aircraft that served in the Vietnam War. Collings Foundation officials note they fly these aircraft and make them accessible to the general public to keep the memory of our Vietnam veterans and to educate the younger generations on America’s longest war.
On March 29 the Collings Foundation will unveil the F-100F Super Sabre newly painted in honor of Col. Bud Day’s original fighter. With a backdrop of the foundation’s Wings of Freedom tour and Vietnam Memorial aircraft, Col. Day will fly again in “his fighter” for the first time since he was shot down 43 years ago. In a very special event he will join an honorary formation fly-over featuring the F-4 Phantom, A-4 Skyhawk, “Huey” helicopter and T-33 Shooting Star. Other Medal of Honor recipients and Vietnam Veterans including James Flemming and Leo Thorsness will make remarks commemorating this event.
The F-100F Commemoration, Vietnam Memorial fly-over and Wings of Freedom Tour will be at Ellington Field in Houston-South located at Collings Foundation-Houston facility, Challenger Seven Parkway. It will begin at 10:30 a.m. March 29.
For more information: CollingsFoundation.org or 800-568-8924.