Old Voodoo Intercepter ex-Elyrian’s Favorite in 60’s
By Rebecca Wiley
C-T Staff Writer
Elyria – Former Elyrian Don Keating, now of Norman, Okla., retired from the Air Force in 1966, but he still has vivid memories of the airplanes he flew.
One particular favorite was an F-101 Voodoo fighter intercepter, serial number 80328, that had been based at the Cleveland Air Traffic Control Center in Oberlin.
A Chronicle—Telegram story in September about the now engine—less Voodoo’s last flight […] base in Philipsburg, Pa., with the help of Chinook helicopter left Keating surprised, but pleased.
“Most of the planes were designated for destruction,” he said. “I assumed this airplane was melted down.”
The Pennsylvania—based Chinooks, large helicopters that carry heavy military equipment, are using the 46,500 pound F-101 for lifting practice.
Ironically, the story was mailed to Keating by an Elyria friend, Jean Bowen, who had no idea the photo with the story was of the former lieutenant colonel’s aircraft.
I thought he’d be interested, period,” said Bowen, a Elyria High classmate of Keating.
“After I saw the picture I was interested,” Keating said.
“After I saw the number, I realized it was one of ours.”
Keating flew more than 600 hours in F—101s during his 26—year career in the Air Force. He called the time “hours and hours of boredom dispersed with a few seconds of terror.”
He flew B—17s in World War II, participated in the 1949 Berlin Airlift and was held by the Russians for a few days after he had to bail out of a burning airplane in March 1949.
But his fondest memories are of the Voodoo.
“It makes you kind of sad the fate of the airplane is a dangling weight,” Keating said.
Even though there are newer and faster planes, it could be a challenge to fly this one, he said.
[Article includes picture]
Source: Old Voodoo Intercepter ex-Elyrian’s Favorite in 60’s, The Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, 21 December 1992, p. C1.