The unit was becoming so popular by '62 that many volunteer pilots had to be turned away. To quote Kamsler's article in SAGA:
"So many enthusiasts want to get in the club that the 'colonels' have had to get stiffer and stiffer to keep membership down to where they can handle it. Flight tests are given, and a neophyte has to pass a tough grilling by the CAF's 'OSS,' or Officers' Southern Security board."
As much as the Confederate Air Force liked to talk about the South and emblazon everything from planes to jackets with the stars and bars, the CAF wasn't part of a separatist group. Their fighters didn't strafe illegals hopping across the border. This bunch of good ol' boys and their juleps were devoted to preserving and restoring vintage fighter aircraft.
The CAF lives on some 50 years after the SAGA article, minus the racist trappings, as the Commemorative Air Force. The planes are no longer painted like the white knights of the sky and instead resemble the schemes and markings of historic military units.
The CAF has wings (groups of donors, not necessarily planes) in every state and several foreign countries. The flying unit is called the Ghost Squadron and is now based in Midland. Groups and wealthy individual donors support the restoration and can buy their chance to become a colonel and fly with the squadron. The current roster of CAF aircraft is impressively massive. I donate all of my own money to the Mormon church, but if you want to fund the CFA's non-racist fighter planes you can potentially join the crew of a restored aircraft.
If you have any money laying around after that, SAGA magazine has just the thing to buy.
That's disconcerting, but that was 50 years ago. I wonder what she looks like today...
Perfect for a shelf just above your child's bed.
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