Commemorative Air Force Units from throughout the U.S. are lending their support to EAA AirVenture's "Salute to Veterans" with more than a dozen legendary aircraft that will be part of the air shows and ground displays in the warbird area.
Among the airplanes that are confirmed are two airplanes whose 75th anniversaries will be recognized at Oshkosh: the B-17 Texas Raiders from Houston, Texas, and the C-47 Bluebonnet Belle from Burnet, Texas. In addition, several P-51 Mustangs and such aircraft as the B-25, SNJ, SBD Dauntless, SNJ Texan and PT-26 will be parked among the rows of warbirds at AirVenture.
"The dedication and support of the Commemorative Air Force and its Units throughout the U.S. is helping to make the Salute to Veterans at EAA AirVenture an unforgettable event," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "These aircraft are painstakingly restored and maintained by the CAF as a tribute to those who have fought and sacrificed to preserve our freedoms, and we eagerly look forward to them joining us at Oshkosh."
AirVenture's Salute to Veterans is a weeklong series of activities and events that recognize all veterans and active-duty military personnel. EAA, the EAA Warbirds of America and Disabled American Veterans are organizing the numerous programs throughout the grounds.
The CAF aircraft will participate in a variety of activities during AirVenture, including the expanded warbird shows on July 27, 30 and 31; the DC-3 "Max Effort Day" on July 27; and the Warbirds in Review ground presentations throughout the week.
Among the CAF warbirds that are scheduled to participate at Oshkosh this year are:
- P-51 Mustang Gunfighter Gunfighter Sponsor Group, Omaha, Neb. www.greatplainswing.org
- P-51 Mustang Red Tail Minnesota Wing/Red Tail Project, South St. Paul, Minn. www.redtail.org
- P-51 Mustang Red Nose Dixie Wing, Peachtree City, Ga. www.dixiewing.org
- B-17 Texas Raiders Gulf Coast Wing, Houston, Texas www.gulfcoastwing.org
- B-25 Devil Dog - Devil Dog Squadron, Georgetown, Texas www.devildogsquadron.com
- SeaFury Memphis Squadron, Memphis, Tenn. www.caf-memphis.org/index2.html
- T-33 Memphis Squadron, Memphis, Tenn. www.caf-memphis.org/index2.html
- C-47 Bluebonnet Belle Highland Lakes Squadron. Burnet, Texas www.highlandlakessquadron.com
- SNJ Highland Lakes Squadron, Burnet, Texas www.highlandlakessquadron.com
- SBD Dixie Wing, Peachtree City, Ga. www.dixiewing.org
- PT-26 Indiana Wing, Indianapolis Executive Airport, Boone County, Ind. www.indianawingcaf.org
- L-2 Indiana Wing, Indianapolis Executive Airport, Boone County, Ind. www.indianawingcaf.org
- P-39 Centex Wing, San Marcos, Texas www.centexwing.com
Additional CAF aircraft will be announced as they are confirmed.
"This is perhaps the greatest gathering of CAF aircraft that I've seen at Oshkosh," said Stephan Brown, CAF president and CEO. "We are pleased to support events such as EAA AirVenture, especially when those who come to Oshkosh each year have a deep appreciation for the aircraft, the people who flew them in the military and those who are dedicated to preserving this flying history."
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 8,500 members and a fleet of 156 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 74 units located in 27 states for care and operation.