27 Mar Preserving The Legacy
The mission of the Super Sabre Society is to “preserve the legacy of the F-100 Super Sabre and the men who flew it” – a simple statement, but very challenging to implement. It is a multi-faceted, complicated and long-term effort.
The view of the Super Sabre Society Board is that our stories, and those of our friends, our wingmen, our squadron mates and those who have passed, need to be preserved in history. Both history and our families deserve to know who we were and what we did. Our society is not just for us, the members, but for others as well; for those who follow. We seek to tell our stories AND to preserve them for posterity in several ways:
THE INTAKE: Likely our most prized possession is The Intake. Our journal is renowned among aviation publications. Our publishers and editors from 2006 until today deserve enormous credit for the untold hours spent assembling a first class journal, a collection of memories for us, and a model for others. Our publisher, Medley Gatewood, and Editor, JJ Schulz, are modern “heroes of the pen.” Our stories are funny, jarring, palm-sweating, touching, heart-breaking and more, but always, well worth preserving. Our photos and words show the way we were. Our memories, and our stories have made us legends in our own minds and in the minds of others – like it or not – WE ARE HISTORY!
Our challenge is to PRESERVE our Intake stories as legacy. Left undone, our Intake issues will be piled in basements and closets to disappear into the dustbins of history. That would be a tragedy.
You may have noticed that ALL of our past Intakes are now available on the “Members Only” section of our website. Just log-in at the upper right corner of the page with your email and password and you can scroll to the Intake issue of your choice and page-through with a new and user-friendly program that allows you to read the journal just like an E-book. But, there is much more coming and that takes us to the next subject.
The Website: Our new webmaster, Jack Paddock and CIO, Win Reither, have done a masterful job of taking our website into the modern world. Constructed in Word Press, which is fast-becoming the worldwide industry standard, our site is secure, innovative, informative and receiving rapidly growing attention. Our website visits have increased from 100 per month four years ago to almost 20,000. Obviously, the vast majority are not members, but visitors from the general public who have interest in aviation, or history, or the F-100. And, that is the central point – it is not just about us, the SSS members, but about telling and preserving our stories and experiences for history, OUR LEGACY to our friends and family, to the Air Force, and to aviation history. And, that brings us to the next subject.
Biographies: A major key to legacies are our biographies. If you have not done so, PLEASE SUBMIT A BIO on the website! It only takes a few minutes and they are being redone in a new and interesting format with photos and videos. We will soon have a major organized effort to acquire a short I-phone video and a longer interview about your flying career and life to attach to the bio. Our vision is to have all of this available, secure on our website with proper format and bandwidth, FOREVER. Your great, great grandkids should be able to call up your name, your face and your real words in video a hundred years from now, a gift to history and worth preserving. We will make a major effort to film interviews at the Vegas reunion in April.
Our eventual vision is to “INDEX” our biographies, Intakes, etc., and make them available to the public so that when a family member 100 years from now types your name in a search engine, your bio with attached videos, your Intake stories, other articles and books you may have published will appear, a gift to posterity – preserving the “legacy of the F-100 Super Sabre and the men who flew it.”
Books: Many talk about writing a book, few do, but it is surprising how many members have already done so. We will soon be assembling an “Author’s Section” on the website to list books written by SSS members and to offer advice from SSS authors for those wishing to write and publish. We will help you leave your personal part of history.
We are also looking at publishing a book of first person stories about the F-100, from its design, production and introduction, through the TDY and nuke years, the Vietnam War, the Cold war and transition into the Guard and Boneyard. Volunteer authors will be needed (Yes, us – GASP!). We will discuss this at the Vegas reunion – a major and difficult, but worthwhile undertaking.
The MAPS Museum: many museums have F-100s on display but few have the space or interest in establishing a permanent repository of SSS material. The MAPS Museum in North Canton, OH www.mapsairmuseum.org has already done so. They have on display dedicated SSS memorabilia, much donated by Bob Dunham, with more planned. We have established an agreement with the museum for accepting and displaying SSS and F-100 material donated by SSS members. The museum will provide lists of desired items to be donated by SSS members. These are F-100 and SSS dedicated displays. Items donated by members will be placed in permanent displays for the public, our families and historians.
Friends of the Super Sabre (FSS): We have visited the subject of Associate Membership in the SSS several times. We have sought advice from the Daedalians and River Rats and learned that evolving into associate memberships dramatically changes the organization focus making extensive fund-raising and some full-time employees almost mandatory. Many of us are members of these organizations. We do not want to compete with them with fundraising for scholarships, etc. Every time we addressed this issue, our members have voted to be a “Last Man Standing” organization; HOWEVER, WE DO NOT WANT OUR LEGACIES TO VANISH! With that in mind, our intent is to pass on the maintenance of legacies to the “Friends of the Super Sabre,” when a viable SSS organization is no longer feasible. We have an MOA with the FSS that explains the way forward: when we are gone, the FSS has the stick and will carry on, and MAPS will have our donated “stuff”; and the website, funded in perpetuity, will display our words, stories, videos and links to our books and articles.
F-100 Super Sabre Memorial: There are many F-100s on display around the country at museums, Air Force bases, in parks, etc. The Udvar-Hazy museum has the names of many SSS members on the airfoils at the entrance. BUT, there is no, one, high-quality dedicated memorial/monument dedicated to the Hun and those who flew it. The board recently made a proposal for a dramatic display at the Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. New federal security requirements made the proposal impractical; however, the board continues to seek ideas for the location of a prominent quality memorial. Any such memorial will have to be approved by the membership and likely require significant outside fundraising.
Membership: Please consider asking a friend who flew the Hun to join – it is, hands down, THE BEST $35/YEAR SPENT ON AVIATION TODAY and the membership application is on our website at www.supersabresociety.com.
Reunions: Our biennial Vegas reunion in April will be fun and full of camaraderie and interesting events. Inevitably, the older we get, the harder it is to travel. That’s underscored by the fact that the F-86 organization will hold it last reunion this year just prior to our SSS session at the Gold Coast Hotel. It is the board’s intent to hold off-year mini-reunions, such as the Ft. Wayne F-100 fly-in, on alternate years. WE AREN’T GETTING ANY YOUNGER, so please consider coming to Vegas – Stay on this website, look at the Keith Ferris limited edition Lithograph, and sign up for the Las Vegas Event
From the Board and Officers of the Super Sabre Society – Shep