SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – An aircraft maintainer can tell in an instant if they have worked on a particular airframe, even 60 years later.
According to a release from the 185 Air Refueling Wing, Air Force veteran crew chief Richard Devine reached out to the Iowa Air Guard after he found a news story about a military aircraft, he had crewed more than 60 years ago.
The release states that the U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker with the tail number 58-0057 had been returned to the 185 Air Refueling Wing from periodic maintenance and a fresh paint job when Devine recognized the craft.
Devine asked the Air Guard if he could tour the KC-135, explaining that he had crewed it while at the Loring Air Force Base in the late 1950s to early 1960s.
According to the release, the aircraft’s current crew chief Master Sergeant Jamie Bethune met on the flight line in Sioux City, and Bethune was happy to show off the updated KC-135.
As Devine and Bethune toured the KC-135, Devine reminisced about his time maintaining aircrafts during his time in the air force. The release states that Devine would have been part of the first-generation KC-135 crew members.
When Devine saw the story and photos about tail number 057, it was like he found a long-lost friend, according to the release.
The release also noted that the KC-135 could be the first U.S. warplane to serve for 100 years thanks to maintainers like Devine and Bethune.
To learn more about Devine’s story click here.