The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition, and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 13,000 members and a fleet of 165 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 76 CAF units for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org
As a unit of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), we are dedicated to preserving and honoring our military history with the rallying cry to “Keep ‘Em Flying!”
The Houston Wing is based at West Houston Airport, in Houston, Texas, USA. The Wing has six CAF aircraft assigned:
- Lockheed C-60A Lodestar “Goodtime Gal”
- North American AT-6 Texan “Ace in the Hole”
- Consolidated-Vultee BT-13 Valiant
- Naval Aircraft Factory N3N “Yellow Peril”
- Fairchild PT-19A “Cornell”
- North American L‑17 Navion
Meetings are usually the third Sunday of each month at 2 PM (but check the calendar for the exact schedule, as this will sometimes vary).
Our museum is staffed on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 AM until 3 PM. However, we can generally arrange to have the museum open for groups or other visitors at other times with some advance notice.
Most work on the aircraft and the hangar is performed on Saturdays, and on Wednesday evenings. Visitors are welcome during the work sessions (especially visitors who don’t mind getting their hands dirty!).
The Houston Wing began as the West Houston Squadron, a Squadron of the West Texas Wing, in June 1978. Starting from three members and operating only member-owned aircraft, it has now grown to over 100 members and six assigned CAF warbirds. In 2012, the West Houston Squadron petitioned CAF Headquarters and the West Texas Wing for realignment as a direct-reporting unit (a Wing) rather than a Squadron of the West Texas Wing. Upon acceptance of this request, the West Houston Squadron became the Houston Wing.
By 1982, the Squadron had grown to about 35 members and had been assigned its first CAF aircraft, the N3N. This was a true project, with the airframe coming from two separate aircraft and arriving by truck. It would be eight years before its first flight.
Later in 1982, the Squadron was assigned its first flying aircraft, the DC-3 “Dragon Lady”. This was a BIG airplane for a still-small Squadron, and after several years of struggle, it was reluctantly returned to CAF headquarters, with the Squadron focusing on smaller aircraft (for the time being). Over the next few years, the AT-6, the BT-13 (another project aircraft), and a Stinson 108 (now with the Gulf Coast Wing) would be brought into the Squadron. In more recent times, the C-60, PT-19, and Navion would be purchased by the Squadron and donated to the CAF, which then assigned them to the Squadron for operation and care.
In 1985, the West Houston Squadron and the Gulf Coast Wing combined forces to hold the inaugural Wings Over Houston Airshow at Ellington Field (now Ellington Airport). Held every year since, and now jointly presented by the Houston Wing, the Gulf Coast Wing, and the Tora Tora Tora Sponsor Group, it is now one of the largest airshows in the country and attracts fans from all over the world.