Veteran reunited with plane at Quonset Air Museum - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Veteran reunited with plane at Quonset Air Museum

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NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. -

Scattered around the Quonset Air Museum in North Kingstown are pieces of former U.S. Navy pilot Joe Zebrowski's past.

The 85-year-old man traveled nearly 3,000 miles to get one last look at the F2H-3 Banshee he flew nearly 60 years ago.

The airplane still had his name on it.

"This is a great honor. I'm humbled," Zebrowski said after receiving a photograph with the former pilot standing in front of a Banshee.

The airplane is currently being restored after decades of abandonment in Ohio. It's one of 11 remaining Banshee's in the country.

Zebrowski flew a different Banshee during a training mission over the Mediterranean in 1957.

"We had a midair collision at 30,000 feet. My wingman said, 'Joe, look up' and I looked up and this plane was coming down," he recalled. "And before I knew it, I had to separate myself from the seat, pull the D-ring on the parachute and float down."

The other pilot involved survived the crash.

Zebrowski credits the plane's ejection seat with saving his life, and on Tuesday he was all smiles as he had the chance to sit on another one of those seats for one last time.

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