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Tuesday, April 21, 2015


 Bobby and I went to the Phi Delta Chi crawdad supper which was held at the Commemorative Air Force hanger right outside of Abilene at the Elmdale Airport.  Bill Masters was good enough to show us around the facilities.  Mr. Masters joined the Army Air Force in 1945 when he was only 17, and he is still flying today.  I know that is what keeps him so young.   He said during WWII there were three levels of training: primary, basic and advanced.  The CAF has two of these training planes.
Mr. Masters is standing by the 1941 North American SNJ-2.  This is the advanced trainer plane with 600 horses.  It was armed and carrier qualified--this is the last plane that a pilot flew before getting into a bigger combat plane to go into battle.
Below is the 1941 basic trainer by Consolidated Vultee.   This plane had 450 horses and was not armed, but used to teach instrument flying.  A hood was placed around the pilot so all he could see were the instruments while flying with an instructor.

After we looked these planes over we went in the hanger to see a one-of-a-kind flying machine.  The plans for this little number came from France, but it was put together here in the US.  This looks like it would be scary fun to fly.
I like the old 1945 ambulance.
 The CAF members built and maintain the facilities here.  I am not sure when the name change occurred, but this used to be the Confederate Air Force.
Thanks to all the hardworking members for maintaining our proud history, and for their service to our country.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy Robinson MastersApril 21, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    Thank YOU, Ma'am, for the photos and comments! Just one clarification...the two WWII airplanes, SNJ and BT-13, are privately owned by members of the Commemorative Air Force. They are not owned by the CAF, though the CAF does own more than 100 WWII aircraft. I am thrilled to have the picture of Bill (my flight instructor and also my husband of almost 31 years!) We'er so glad you came and that the weather did not force a cancellation of such a fun event.