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Commemorative Air Force Welcomes Aviation Executive Dick Koenig to Staff

Dallas, TX – January 18, 2017 – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is excited to announce the addition of Dick Koenig to the CAF staff as the Major Gifts Officer. Koenig has enjoyed a long career in the aviation industry with more than 50 years of sales/marketing experience.

Koenig was an aviator in the U.S. Army and Army Air Guard, and has always had a passion for aviation. He has served on the Board of Directors for several major aviation organizations such as Corporate Angel Network, Women in Aviation International, Sun ‘N Fun, National Aeronautical Association and many others. Koenig was executive director for the Corporate Angel Network, a non-profit provider of free air transportation for cancer patients; he spent 38 years with Flying magazine, 26 as vice president/publisher.

As the Major Gifts Officer for the CAF, Koenig will build and maintain relationships with individuals and companies interested in supporting the CAF’s projects including a capital campaign for the CAF National Airbase, a world-class aviation attraction being built in Dallas. “We are thrilled and proud to have Dick join our team. He is a well-respected member of the aviation community and we are excited about this opportunity.” Said CAF President/CEO Stephan C. Brown.   

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Minnesota Wing and Dixie Wing to Collaborate a Tour of the Southeast

The CAF’s Minnesota Wing and Dixie Wing are teaming up for a unique tour in several southeast states to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid over Japan. The tour will include five stops with the Minnesota Wing’s B-25 Miss Mitchell, and the Dixie Wing’s P-51 Red Nose and SBD-5 Dauntless dive-bomber.


The Minnesota Wing, based in South St. Paul Minnesota, will start their tour season with the 75th Anniversary Doolittle Raid Reunion in Dayton, Ohio on April 17-18. From there, Miss Mitchell and crew will work their way down to Peachtree City, Georgia, for the CAF WWII Heritage Days on April 22-23.

"We have been talking about cooperating for a while," said Moreno Aguiari, Dixie Wing's marketing officer and tour coordinator. " We actually started working together earlier last year when the Dixie Wing built some parts from scratch for Miss Mitchell, and then the Minnesota Wing donated some much-needed parts for the Dixie Wing’s Link Trainer restoration project."

The units met up at the 2016 ICAS convention early in December and planned the tour. "ICAS should be a place where units can discuss CAF airplanes, business, coordinate and work on partnerships in addition to booking air shows,” said Aguiari.

Following the CAF Dixie Wing WWII Heritage Days, Miss Mitchell will be hitting the road with the Dixie Wing going to Greenville, South Carolina (May 6-7), Raleigh, North Carolina (May 13-14) and Virginia Beach (May 18-21) for the Military Aviation Museum's Warbirds Over the Beach. Additional tour stops are being considered.



“We’ve been trying to think outside the box as far as marketing our planes to the airshow community, and when the Dixie Wing asked us to participate in their WWII Heritage Days in April, we couldn’t pass it up,” said Amy Lauria, Minnesota Wing public information officer. “It’s been a long time since the Minnesota Wing has traveled south and we thought this was the perfect time to do it. We are excited to be working closely with another CAF unit to promote our mission.”

Rides in the B-25 Miss Mitchell will be available at some tour locations and can be booked in advance online at www.cafmn.org.


TOUR DATES

  • April 17-18    Dayton, OH (Doolittle Reunion)   
  • April 22-23    Peachtree City, GA (WWII Heritage Weekend)   
  • May 6-7        Greenville, SC
  • May 13-14     Raleigh, NC
  • May 18-21     Virginia Beach, VA (Warbirds Over the Beach)

About the Minnesota Wing
The CAF Minnesota Wing was formed in 1971 as the first charter unit of the CAF. The wing operated as a maintenance support arm to help the CAF’s mission and its ever-growing fleet of rare aircraft.


Today, the CAF Minnesota Wing is home to six aircraft, a large motor pool fleet, and a unique collection of World War II artifacts that are on display. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, but during the spring and summer, many of the wing’s aircraft are on tour throughout the tri-state area, Canada and the U.S.

About Miss Mitchell
Miss Mitchell is a pristine example of what a dedicated group of volunteers can accomplish. Donated to the Minnesota Wing in the 1980s, volunteers immediately began a complete ground-up restoration of this versatile medium bomber.

The B-25 placed itself in World War II history books on April 18, 1942 when 16 of the medium- range bombers launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean and bombed mainland Japan. Led by Lt. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, America had begun to turn the tables on the Japanese.



The B-25J Miss Mitchell served in the 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force in North Africa and Italy, completing more than 130 missions. Its legacy of no crew fatalities during all of its missions was a rare accomplishment. Prior to taking command of the 8th Air Force in Europe in 1944, the 12th Air Force was under the command of then Brig. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle.


After a 12-year restoration by the CAF Minnesota Wing, Miss Mitchell took her first flight on April 18, 1992 - exactly 50 years to the day of the daring Doolittle Raid. Today, Miss Mitchell appears at airshows and special events throughout the United States and Canada.

About the CAF Dixie Wing


The CAF Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City, Georgia, was approved as the 83rd CAF unit and received its charter on Feb. 28, 1987. The Wing displays its collection of vintage World War II aircraft in numerous airshows throughout the United States. The wing is a non-profit, tax-exempt "flying museum" that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out its mission.

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CAF Red Tail Squadron Appoints Doug Rozendaal Squadron Leader

Red Wing, Minn. – January 9, 2017 – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, today announced that P-51C Mustang pilot Doug Rozendaal will return to the helm as Squadron Leader. A dedicated volunteer, Rozendaal has played a pivotal role in the formation and ongoing success of the Squadron and its mission.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron would also like to thank former Squadron Leader Bill Shepard for his service to the organization. Shepard is currently the Vice President of Education for the CAF and will continue his role as P-51C Mustang pilot and volunteer with the leadership team.

“Doug Rozendaal has a long history of leadership roles within the Commemorative Air Force organization. We are happy to have him return to the position of CAF Red Tail Squadron Leader and are certain under his leadership the program will continue to thrive,” said Commemorative Air Force President Stephan C. Brown.

Rozendaal paved his own way to a career in aviation and has logged more than 10,000 hours in the air flying more than 170 different types of aircraft. As a certified warbird pilot, he has flown a P-51 Mustang, Corsair, Hellcat, Wildcat, P-40, TBM, Zero, DC-3, PBY Catalina, BT-13, T-6, T-28 trainers, as well as the CAF’s B-25 bomber Miss Mitchell. He has been a member of the CAF since 1989. Rozendaal is the owner of PetroBlend, an independent lubricant blender and distributor of automotive, heavy duty, agricultural and industrial lubricants.

“I am excited and look forward to building on Bill's successes,” said Rozendaal. “In every metric, RISE ABOVE: Red Tail is a valuable educational and inspirational program that has exceeded our expectations since its inception. We look forward to continuing that into the future.”

To learn more about the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s events and educational outreach programs, visit redtail.org to follow the news and find out about events near you.

About the CAF Red Tail Squadron

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. RISE ABOVE: Red Tail, their three-fold outreach program, includes a fully restored WWII-era P-51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit 53’ mobile theater featuring the original panoramic film “Rise Above”; and resource materials for teachers and youth leaders. Each year, they embark on a nine-month cross-country tour that includes appearances at air shows, schools, museums and community events. The group’s Six Guiding Principles – Aim High, Believe In Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready To Go, Never Quit and Expect to Win – serve as the foundation for their outreach programs and are based on the experiences and successes of the Tuskegee Airmen. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). Learn more at www.redtail.org.

About the Commemorative Air Force

The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force 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 more than 13,000 members and a fleet of 166 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 76 CAF units for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

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Press Contact

Darcy Castro

darcy@redtail.org

(203) 297-4994

Visit www.redtail.org/news-media-kit for access to more photos and materials especially for the media.

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B‐29 Superfortress FIFI returning to Southwest United States this spring.

(DALLAS, January 12, 2017) – FIFI, the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) iconic Boeing B‐29 Superfortress, will visit Arizona, California, and Texas this spring as the feature aircraft in the CAF Air Power History Tour. Aircraft accompanying FIFI on tour include a P-51 Mustang, C-45 Expeditor,

T-6 Texan and more. Visitors can view the airplanes up close, tour the B-29 cockpit, and also purchase rides. Information about the tour can be found at AirPowerTour.org. The tour schedule:

Tucson, AZ – February 23 to 26

Mesa, AZ – March 1 to 5

Goodyear, AZ – March 8 to 12

Bullhead City, AZ – March 15 to 19

Camarillo, CA – March 21 to 26

Palm Springs, CA – March 29 to April 2

Amarillo, TX – April 5 to 9

The airplanes of the CAF Air Power Tour are powerful history lessons that bring the sights, sounds, and stories of World War II aviation to audiences across North America. They exemplify the hard work and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation – men and women who answered the call of duty when freedom was threatened. The aircraft are symbols of the freedom enjoyed in the United States today and the CAF is dedicated to passing along their story to future generations.

The Boeing B‐29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B‐17s and B‐24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The airplane represented state of the art technology at the time. The B‐29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.

About the CAF’s B‐29 Superfortress FIFI:

FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was planned to be used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and has flown for over forty years traveling coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop. Learn more about FIFI and her tour schedule at www.AirPowerTour.org.

About the Commemorative Air Force:

The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force 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 more than 12,000 members and a fleet of 167 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 76 CAF units for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

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WWII Heritage Days Salutes Doolittle Raid, Battle of Midway
Veterans, authors and historic aircraft land at Falcon Field

 America was losing the Second World War in the Pacific until an unprecedented one-way mission by Army bombers launched from a Navy aircraft carrier prompted an air-sea battle that changed the course of history. The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing will mark the 75th Anniversaries of the Doolittle Raid and Battle of Midway throughout the 14th Annual “WWII Heritage Days”, April 22-23, 2017 at Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, Peachtree City, Georgia.

“The Doolittle Raid was one of the pivotal missions of the Second World War,” said CAF Dixie Wing leader Jay Bess. “It lifted American morale after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan and also set the stage for the Battle of Midway.”The Doolittle Raid, inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, involved bombing Japan with 16 Army B-25 Mitchell twin-engine bombers launched from the USS Hornet in April 1942. The raid caused little damage, but a Japanese counterattack on Midway Island ended in a decisive American victory June 5-6 of the same year. To help commemorate these historic events, organizers will bring together World War II veterans, award-winning authors and historic aircraft.  Miss Mitchell, a restored B-25 Mitchell and the type used in the Doolittle Raid, will fly into Peachtree City for the weekend. Joining Miss Mitchell will be a pair of Battle of Midway and naval aviation icons: a F4F Wildcat fighter and the CAF Dixie Wing’s own SBD Dauntless dive-bomber. Award-winning authors Bruce Gamble (The Black Sheep: The Definitive Account of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II) and James Scott (Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor) will be joined by Dr. Robert B. Kane, Air University Director of History, Maxwell Air Force Base, in providing presentations describing the battles.

DixieNews1.9.2017FM 2 Wildcat D1 of VC 79 after engaging the barricade on board carrier USS Sargent Bay CVE 83 7 February 1945

Beginning as a one-day program in 2003, CAF Dixie Wing's WWII Heritage Days has emerged as the largest annual World War II and 1940s theme event in Georgia. It is a can’t-miss experience for anyone who enjoys nostalgia, big band music, swing dancing, historic aircraft and military vehicles, antique cars and vintage fashion.  The program includes education activities and living history demonstrations for all ages.Of the 16 million men and women who served in United States Armed Forces during World War II, the Veterans Administration estimates less than 850,000 are alive today.

“The mission of the Commemorative Air Force is preservation and education,” said Bess. “Our goal is to preserve World War II aircraft and the stories of the men and women who built, maintained and flew them.  WWII Heritage Days is a living history classroom.”Suggested donations for WWII Heritage Days are: Adults 18 and Older, $10; Ages 11-17 $5.  Children 10 and under and World War II veterans are admitted free. WWII Heritage Days will take place rain or shine. Please no pets.  Tickets for “Keep ‘em Flying” are $55 before April 17th, $65 at the door. Reserved tables and group discounts available. All ticket sales final. 

For more information, please visit www.wwiidays.org or call 678-364-1110.

About the Commemorative Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft.  Based in Dallas, Texas, the organization has more than 13,000 members and operates a fleet of more than 166 aircraft.  These aircraft compose the world’s largest flying museum, and are operated for the education of present and future generations.    www.commemorativeairforce.org.



About the CAF Dixie Wing


The CAF Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City, Ga., was approved as the 83rd CAF unit on Feb. 28, 1987, and has since displayed its collection of vintage World War II aircraft in numerous air shows throughout the United States. The wing is a non-profit, tax-exempt "flying museum" that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out its mission. www.dixiewing.org

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Contact:
Steve Forsyth
Public Information Officer
CAF Dixie Wing
770-714-7750 (C)
sforsyth106@gmail.com

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