The Mission of the Commemorative Air Force is to Promote and Preserve in Flying Condition, the History and Esprit de Corps of Military Aviation. Read our complete mission statement.
Who makes up the CAF?
One common misconception is that we are all pilots, aircraft owners or mechanics. Not So! All members are volunteers who have a great love for maintaining and flying these airplanes for years to come. You do not have to be an airplane mechanic or hold a pilot certificate to become involved with the CAF. The CAF is the eighth largest Air Force in the World. There are currently more than 165 flying aircraft, and over 12,000 men and women members of the CAF - in 30 nations, including units in France, England, Australia, Switzerland, and New Zealand.
We encourage social activities, and we are a fun group. We have dinner meetings every fourth Thursday, at our "O" Club located at the former Naval Air Station (NAS) Alameda "Terminal Building". At these dinner meetings we usually have guest speakers who are legends and heroes of vintage aviation, both wartime and civilian.
Once in a while we organize special events, such as a Fly Day, BBQ and Holiday Party.
History of the CAF:
It was 1957 - World War II had been over 12 years and a small group of ex-service pilots from West Texas pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang. Although none of these men realized the ramifications of this purchase, the group was about to set in motion events that would eventually lead to the world's most complete collection of flying WWII combat aircraft. The men formed a loosely defined organization known as the Confederate Air Force to share the pleasure and expense of maintaining the Mustang.
Other pilots took an interest and joined the group. By 1960, the group began to search seriously for other WWII aircraft but it quickly became apparent that few remained in flying condition. Only 15 years after the end of a war which America had produced nearly 300,000 planes, almost all were gone. No one, not even the Air Force or the Navy was attempting to preserve a representative sampling of these historic aircraft.
In 1961, the CAF was chartered as a nonprofit Texas corporation to restore and fly WWII aircraft. What started as a hobby for the group became an urgent mission to preserve history. Since that time, dedicated groups of people across the country have assembled one of the finest and most complete collections of flyable WWII aircraft in the world. Included are fighters, bombers, transports, trainers and the only helicopter to see service in WWII. The collection also includes aircraft of the German Luftwaffe and a fleet of replica aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Following a membership vote in 2001, and made effective on January 1, 2002, the organization is now known as the Commemorative Air Force. The previous name did not clearly communicate our mission, vision, and values. The new name is more aligned with our organization, and more representative of what we do.
In 2005 a bylaw change expanded the scope to include Korea, Vietnam and other war era aircraft, not just WWII. The CAF and the American Airpower Heritage Museum (AAHM) strive to recreate, remind and reinforce the lessons learned from past wars. The Commemorative Air Force is an all-volunteer organization. It is a privately funded, totally self-supporting, non-profit (501-C3) tax exempt, group dedicated to preserving military aviation history.
History of the Golden Gate Wing:
The Golden Gate Wing is the San Francisco bay area's chapter of the Commemorative Air Force and has many active members who meet regularly, maintain and fly aircraft, and take part in air shows and educational events. The Golden Gate Wing had its Bay Area roots in the CAF Pacific Wing in 1981. From that original organization came the core of today's Wing.
The Golden Gate Wing has hosted two major events at Oakland International Airport's North Field. We organized the 1991 air show honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, the African-American flying instructors and combat pilots of World War II, and 1995's Freedom Week, featuring the CAF's B-29 "Fifi" and B-24 "Diamond Lil". Both offered the general public an opportunity to see historic types of aircraft fly, and to meet pilots and crewmembers that flew those machines during the war.
The Golden Gate Wing currently does not have aircraft assigned.
We are interested in obtaining new and continuing members that are interested in the pursuit of the mission of the CAF. Join the CAF and the Golden Gate Wing and experience the rewards of preserving the legacy of military aviation! Please consider becoming a member and join the fun!
It is our strong belief that keeping these memories alive and well in the hearts and minds of all people, will help us avoid another tragedy such as WWII. Additionally, we don't want to forget the tremendous sacrifice that occurred, and the people who paid that debt, for our freedom.
Golden Gate Wing
Commemorative Air Force
3511 Joaquin Miller Rd
Oakland, CA 94602