McConnell Airmen Volunteer to Fix Historic ‘Doc’ B-29

  • Published
  • By Airman Paula Arce
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Kenneth Jenkins, 22nd Maintenance Squadron flight chief, led a team of five volunteer Airmen to repair and manufacture cables for “Doc,” a B-29 Superfortress, Feb. 8, at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita, Kansas.

The team spent hours successfully replacing damaged elevator control cables that previously deemed this rare World War II bomber unflyable.

“There’s people who are still alive that flew this aircraft during World War II,” Jenkins said. “There’s a lady who just turned 99 that put the rivets into that aircraft back in the 1940s.”

Jenkins’ team used their mechanical knowledge to honor those men and women who sacrificed their lives to build, fly, maintain and design the wartime aircraft.

“When younger people get involved, it’s really neat,” said Jenkins. “Being an older guy, we get sentimental about old equipment. The fact that we had so many younger people step up and volunteer to do this on their own time - it’s awesome.”

The five Airmen brought life back to the warbird, allowing current and future generations of aviation enthusiasts an up-close experience of a WWII bomber.

Doc’s Friends, Inc. is a nonprofit board that manages the restoration of the B-29 and the reason for it still flying today. Currently, Doc is one of only two flying B-29 Superfortresses.

Jenkins believes it is crucial to continue to preserve aircraft like Doc so future generations understand the past and help create a deeper appreciation for the aircraft that brought America to victory time after time.

Doc is expected to make an appearance in the sky at the McConnell Air Force Base Frontiers in Flight Open House and Airshow Aug. 24-25, 2024.