Ashland, NE- At the Strategic Air & Space Museum, each Tuesday and Thursday morning at 8:30, you’ll find about a dozen guys grinding on the panels of an old C-54 aircraft.
They’re part of a dedicated group of 30 some volunteers at the museum. All together, complete restoration of an aircraft takes, on average, two years and approximately 10,000 man-hours of labor. Usually, only one aircraft is worked on at a time, due to space in the restoration hangar, as well as the quantity of volunteers.
But these volunteers are special. From the youngest in his early 80’s to the oldest, who just turned 95, these men are all veterans. And like a well oiled machine they each have their role working on the aircraft.
Walt Meier, for example, works on the auxiliary power.
“It’s just a group effort really,” he says.
They’ve all come from different backgrounds, branches, and enlistments. They all share the same love for military aircraft and country.
“It’s serving a purpose. Preserving these things for history,” Roger Isle says.