The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will again promote “12 Planes of Christmas,” an online giving campaign.
Located at SupportCAF.org, the campaign provides an opportunity to aide in the restoration and maintenance of the aircraft, as well as learn more about the CAF’s fleet of 165 airplanes. All of the CAF aircraft are restored, maintained, flown and exhibited by a volunteer force, which operate out of 60 different CAF locations across the country. The organization depends on donations to keep em’ flying, officials note.
In addition to donating to individual aircraft, donations can be directed to the Restoration Grant Fund.
One of the most important programs at the CAF, the Restoration Grant Fund has helped more than 20 aircraft return to flight. This program is a matching-grant and ensures that money goes to support aircraft projects with the greatest need.
This year, the CAF will feature 12 planes, each with different historical significance and in various stages of restoration; some needing support to become airworthy again.
The aircraft featured this year are:
- P-47 Thunderbolt, Dallas, Texas: The CAF’s P-47 has not flown in more than a decade and the effort to get it back in the air is beginning.
- AT-11 Kansan, Moriarty, New Mexico. This airplane served in the Albuquerque area during World War II, where it trained bombardiers. Help this “home town hero” honor our veterans.
- PT-17 Stearman, Heber City, Utah. During World War II it was a trainer, and now it is a teacher. The aircraft serves as a focal point for the many school groups who visit the CAF Utah Wing to learn about World War II history.
- Interstate Cadet, Princeton, New Jersey. Help the CAF Delaware Valley Wing tell the story of Cornelia Fort, one of the first female pilots to fly US military airplanes. Fort witnessed the Pearl Harbor attack from a Cadet just like this one.
- B-25 Mitchell (PBJ), Camarillo, California. This one-of-a-kind airplane is the last of the PBJs, the Marine Corps version of the ubiquitous B-25. This airplane recently returned to the air after a 23-year restoration – help push it over the finish line.
- PBY Catalina, Duluth, Minnesota. PBY crews are among the US military’s forgotten warriors. Hunting submarines, rescuing aircrews and sailors, supporting this restoration will ensure their stories are told.
- L-3 Grasshopper, San Diego, California: Support the CAF’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational programs in California by providing them with a hands-on opportunity to see aviation technology in action.
- Twin Beech (SNB), Indianapolis, Indiana. Provide young people an opportunity to see where their modern household technology originated – in World War II – by supporting the efforts of the CAF’s Indiana Wing.
- B-17 Flying Fortress, Houston, Texas. The most enduring of all World War II symbols, this mighty B-17 needs support to continue its mission to honor, educate and inspire. The airplane is named Texas Raiders in honor of all Texas veterans, but flies as a tribute to all of America’s World War II bomber crews.
- J2K (UC-61), Franklin, Virginia. Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Coast Guard Aviation by supporting the restoration of the CAF’s only Coast Guard marked aircraft.
- BT-13 Valiant, Houston, Texas. Join the Houston Wing of the CAF in their efforts to honor the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the trailblazing women pilots who flew US military airplanes in World War II.
- FG-1D Corsair, Peachtree City, Georgia. Known as the Bent Wing-Bird or Whistling Death (to the Japanese), this iconic World War II fighter needs support to stay in fighting shape.
The campaign will run throughout December 2016.