F-15 Eagle dedicated to Museum

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Greg Neuleib
  • 142 Fighter Wing
It seems fitting that on a day that is set aside for veterans aircraft 73-089 was honored at a dedication at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. With approximately thirty four years of service, 089 served proudly with the men who flew and maintained it. "They built eighteen original airplanes to do work on and it was the 5th production airplane that actually went out to the units" Chief Master Sgt. John Rasmussen. Three of those men talked about 089's long service and also gave a brief history of the F-15A Eagle and what the importance it had on the history of the Air Force and the Oregon Air National Guard. Emcee Lt. Col. Kevin Bode, retired, of the 123rd Fighter Squadron of the Oregon Air National Guard opened the ceremony and led the other speakers by giving a brief history of the F-15A and reminiscing his experience with 089 and the Oregon Air National Guard. Col. Lars Granath, retired, was a former commander in the Oregon Air National guard and was the key figure in bringing 089 to the Oregon Air National Guard. "I'm privileged to have flown the airplane... This dedication is a tribute to the airplane" and Granath concluded by thanking the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum for preserving the heritage and keeping our history alive. Chief Master Sgt. John Rasmussen, member of the 142nd Aircraft Maintenance Group in the Oregon Air National Guard discussed the long maintenance history of 089 and the 44 month process to be able to bring 089 forty five miles to the Evergreen Air and Space Museum. "The legacy and inspiring our young people to come and do things, because with out them coming out here there would be no pilots or aircraft mechanics, things that people want to be". Col. Matt Shuster commander of the 142nd Maintenance Group, was fortunate that his name was picked to be painted on the side of 089 replacing Granath's. At first he was apprehensive about his name being on the oldest F-15 on the flight line but later discovered the honor. Col. Shuster shared, "One famous story is that it [089] landed in israel after one of it's wings was nearly severed off. It's a testament of the toughness of the airplane".