Air Force veteran celebrates 100th birthday and Father’s Day with unique flight

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 4:09 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -To help celebrate Father’s Day and his 100th birthday, an Air Force veteran received an extra special surprise from his family.

For some families on Father’s Day, they’ll either get the grill going or just hang around the house, but for Ted Wolfram III, it’s seeing an airplane he’s known for decades.

The 1942 Stearman is a plane Wolfram III used during his time in the air force.

“My favorite plane has always been the Stearman,” Wolfram III said.

He served in World War 2, as well as wars in both Korea and Vietnam. To celebrate his birthday, the family has taken him every five years to see old war planes. For his 100th, it just so happens a friend of a friend owns Ted’s favorite plane.

“To take my weird little selfish hobby and to share it with an American hero, like this guy, it’s meaningful,” said Chris Stokes, a Stearman pilot.

The plan was to have the Air Force veteran go on a flight into the plane, but they chose not to for safety reasons. Instead, he got to see the plane and watch his son go up in the air.

“Words cannot express what it’s like to be in an open cockpit airplane,” said Ted Wolfram IV, Ted’s son. “You feel all of the elements blowing by. Your hair blowing in the wind. Looking by and seeing family and they were all wavering at us so that was really, really cool.”

For the Air Force veteran, if there was only one thing he could change, “I only wish I could’ve been in it,” Ted III said.

But it’s all smiles for the veteran, who got to do what he loves and share the moment with his family. Ted’s son said he’s already planning his father’s 105th birthday celebration because his dad always tells him he’ll live until he’s 106 years old.

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