The Commemorative Air Force was the staging area for the inaugural Permian Basin Honor Flight, which honors the "greatest generation" with a trip of a lifetime to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The veterans, their families, and the guardians for the trip gathered at the CAF's George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush Commemorative Center at Midland International Airport in Midland, Texas.
In addition to many people from the community coming out to show their support for more than 100 World War II Veterans taking the flight, they were also honored with Color Guards, the Star-Spangled Banner, the CAF's B-29 Superfortress FIFI.
“For the World War II veterans, this is their last hurrah,” said Earl Morse, president and co-founder of the Honor Flight Network, in a video. “This is probably the last chapter of their lives. For some, it’s literally the last paragraph of their lives. What a way to end their stories.”
Many of the veterans on the flight were excited to share their stories and to see the World War II Memorial for the first.
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The CAF Airbase Arizona is pleased to present the "Sixth Annual Gathering of Legends," the largest gathering of military aviators in the southwestern United States. The event is honors aviators who have participated in U.S. military conflicts for more than 70 years and serves as the museum's Veterans Day celebration. Visitors are invited to meet and speak personally with approximately 40 military aviators, including fighter pilot aces, bomber and cargo aircraft crewmen, Tuskegee Airmen, Womens Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) and many others.
The event will be held Nov. 8-10 at the Airbase Arizona Museum.
For more information or to register, click here.
Nell Bright, a World War II WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilot) flew 800 hours in B-25 Mitchells during her 18 months in the service. Bright, 93, flew anti-aircraft missions in Texas during WWII, towing targets behind the B-25's while soliders shot at them from the ground.
WASPs flew planes from the factory to the military bases, trained male pilots, and were often test pilots. "We did everything that the Air Force had to do,” said Bright. “Our mission was to relieve the men so they could go overseas for combat."
Nell recently had the opportunity to recall her days flying warbirds and once again fly in a B-25, this time as civilian on a flight with the Airbase Arizona's B-25, Maid in the Shade.
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|Photo courtesy of Kevin Hong|
On September 21, 2014, the Frontiers of Flight Museum, located in Dallas, will launch a comprehensive education fund named for and honoring the museum’s co-founder Jan Collmer. The Jan Collmer Education Fund will be used to carry on Collmer’s legacy to educate, motivate and inspire the next generation.
Collmer started flying airshows in 1978 and has performed in more than 400 shows. A native of Dallas, Collmer is a key figure in the Texas aviation community and holds the distinction of being the only pilot ever allowed to fly an aerobatic routine over DFW International Airport. Collmer is a CAF Colonel and has flown at the CAF AIRSHO for many years.
The Jan Collmer Education Fund will support the museum’s extensive education programs and provide scholarships for Flight School Summer Camps, education tours and outreach programs. Contributions to this fund will enable underserved children an opportunity to benefit from these (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) STEM enrichment programs.
The Jan Collmer Education Fund is dependent on annual contributions to ensure the resources will be there to fulfill the goal of reaching more than 10,000 children each year.
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The Atlanta Warbird Weekend is a first-time project between two Wings of the CAF; Airbase Arizona and the Peachtree City, GA based Dixie Wing.
The event is dedicated to the remembrance and celebration of the men, women and machines of the Greatest Generation. In metro Atlanta, there are significant historical aviation resources, and AWW aspires to be the catalyst to bring together the organizations, aircraft and people that keep this history alive, and so engage the public and businesses to preserve the spirit of our shared past.
The Airbase Arizona's B-17, Sentimental Journey will lead a flight of vintage World War II aircraft to Peachtree-Dekalb Airport to inaugurate the Atlanta Warbird Weekend. Cockpit tours and flights will be available in the B-17 and other aircraft, including a P-51 Mustang and SBD Dauntless dive bomber.
For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.