of Hickory, North Carolina
Ted Goetz is another ‘aircraft connection’ story. I found a post he made about our FJ-3M Fury on the web. It stated that he lived in Havelock and he had heard about the recent restoration of 141393. While going to attend a family event in the mountains, he and his wife stopped to look at her when she resided at the end of the runway. He said it was ‘dead on’ and he should know as he flew it with VMF-235!!! His email was attached to the post so I sent him a note. He responded back and sent some wonderful photographs, flight gear, and a North American Aviation Mach Buster certificate!!! Yes, Ted broke the sound barrier in the FJ-3 and said it wasn’t an easy feat. It was done in a ‘slick’ bird with nothing hanging out externally. After a climb to around 45,000 feet, you just point the nose down and pour on the coals. The FJ-3 had a thick wing so it was a pretty rough ride. Also of note, when Kregg and I researched the aircraft in the very early days of the museum, we found a photo of OUR bird in a book. It had the name Dave Zetterberg painted under the cockpit. I literally searched for any information on this aircraft for years. When I asked Ted about Dave, he said ‘yeah he was the Best Man in my wedding’. We have a great shot of the entire cast from VMF-235 in 1957 thanks to Ted. And if that weren’t enough, Ted brought his wife and daughter up for the grand opening last year. Upon talking to his wife, she told me that Ted actually proposed to her after climbing out of OUR aircraft!!! They are just wonderful people and I am so glad that we got together. Also Ted fired a Sidewinder while flying the M and also said he may have been the first pilot to ever deploy the new Ram Air Turbine (RAT) on a delivery flight of a brand new FJ-3 from the Columbus, Ohio plant that manufactured them. I apologize that the only picture I have of Ted includes me.