The 2009 Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AIRSHO, slated for Oct. 10 and 11, will feature a selection of award-winning aircraft at Midland International Airport between Midland and Odessa, Texas.
Appearing at AIRSHO for the first time in several years is the CAF’s P-51C Mustang “Tuskegee Airmen” (pictured).
The P-51, restored by the CAF’s Red Tail Project of the Minnesota Wing, earned the “Phoenix Award” at the 2009 AirVenture Warbirds of America Banquet. Following a tragic accident in 2004 that claimed the life of pilot and project leader, Don Hinz, the CAF Red Tail Project volunteers worked tirelessly to honor Hinz’s memory by restoring the project that he helped to create.
“Tuskegee Airmen” is dedicated to telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the World War II fighter group composed of African-American pilots and support personnel who fought discrimination and prejudice in order to serve their country. The P-51 debuted after a five-year restoration process in Oshkosh at this summer’s AirVenture.
Also appearing at AIRSHO will be the PT-26 operated by the CAF’s Wisconsin Wing. It was awarded the “Preservation Award” by EAA’s Warbirds of America in 2008 and 2009.
CAF members often showcase their own warbirds at aviation events across the country. Joining AIRSHO this year are CAF Colonels Taylor Stevenson of Addison, Texas, in his Stinson L-5 Sentinel, and Don Miller of Edmond, Okla., in his Consolidated-Vultee BT-13A Valiant.
Stevenson’s Stinson L-5 Sentinel was awarded the “Best L-Bird” award by EAA Warbirds of America for 2009. At only 20 years old, Stevenson has fully restored his L-5 to pristine condition. He travels to airshows with a complete set-up of authentic World War II artifacts and dresses in period attire.
Miller’s BT-13A Valiant received the 2009 “Best Trainer” award by EAA Warbirds of America.