Business / Economy

Hollister detailer honored with commemorative mission patch for care of B-29 bomber

Randy Ragsac was part of a 60-man team who worked to clean and preserve historic airplanes in Seattle

Randy Ragsac of All For the Shine Detailing in Hollister recently returned from a two-week long Boeing Centennial mega aircraft detailing event, perhaps the largest organized detailing event on record. As a member of the 60-man 2016 Air Force One & Museum of Flight Detail Team, Ragsac helped clean and preserve 17 historic airplanes at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, including three World War II military aircraft — the B-47 Stratojet, a B-17 Flying Fortress, and the B-29 (T-Square) Superfortress bomber. 

Here is more information, from a press release:

In addition to being part of what is likely the largest and most prestigious aircraft detailing project in history, team members were presented with a commemorative mission patch by Marlene Houtchens, widow of WWII B-29 pilot Lowell Houtchens, who was stationed on the island of Tinian with Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbetts, when he dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

“Marlene is an amazing lady who has supported the Museum’s care and maintenance of the B-29 for over 20 years,” says Ragsac. “She worked for Boeing for 29 years. She graciously presented every team member with this patch, accompanied by a cartoon drawn in her own hand of the continued upkeep of the plane. I am deeply honored to be among those continuing her legacy as the caretaker of this amazing airplane.”

 Ragsac also worked on several of Boeing’s “firsts:" the first 727, the first 737, and first 747; as well as a rare DC2, an F14 Tomcat, the A-6 Intruder, the Concorde Alpha Golf, the 787 Dreamliner, and of course the original Air Force One presidential jet, which has been under the team’s care for over a decade.

Strapped into a cherry picker and riding a boom lift nearly 100 feet up into the air in order to clean the uppermost sections of the planes like the vertical stabilizer takes detailing to a completely new level!  

“Here I am walking along the wing of the Concorde, high up in the air at the crown of the 747 and 787, polishing the bright work on Air Force One, and polishing the aluminum fuselage and wings on those incredible WWII planes,” says Ragsac. “Scrubbing off the grunge that had built up on the wings of the Boeing 727 took about three days, and was very challenging work. The last pilot to fly the 727 watched us bring that plane back to life while Marlene watched us restore the shine on the B-29 using a heavy metal polish. It was truly a privilege to be a part of the project.” 

If San Benito County car and truck owners are wondering how detailing airplanes translates into detailing their vehicles, it is important to note that Ragsac is a certified high-end paint correction specialist as well as detailer. 

“I was hand-picked as a member of this elite detailing team by my mentor and team leader Renny Doyle because of my advanced skills,” says Ragsac. 

For more information about this year’s Boeing Centennial mega-detailing event at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, contact Randy Ragsac at (831) 809-4550, or Kimberly Ballard at (256) 653-4003.

BenitoLink Staff