TEXAS 2015
GHOST SQUADRON, CENTRAL TEXAS WING
»Commemorative Air Force, San Marcos«

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

Visiting Texas in november 2015 for music, aviation- and 'Old West Frontier' history, I had included several air museums in my itinerary.
Both Austin and New Braunfels were in my intinerary for the music, but San Marcos is conveniently located in the middle so a visit was 'unavoidable'.

 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
The wing, which has been in existence for about a quarter of a century, was the 7th chartered by the CAF.
The unit is housed in a former WWII hangar at San Marcos Municipal Airport, which is also home to a number of
warbirds owned by members. This building was constructed in 1943, the only surviving building here of that era.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Canadian Car & Foundry Harvard 4 N7754, dressed up as a Japanese 'Zero'; ex/ CF-WPN.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
I was lucky to find so many aircraft outside: my vitist weas on monday nov.16th and they had a fund-raising party
in the hangar the previous weekend, so had taken most aircraft outside. This certainly facilitated my photography!

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
N375VU is a Beech TC-45J (c/n 5569, ex/ SNB-2 BuNo.51242), reg'd to Mark L. Frederick of Taylor,TX 30Nov2004.
The type is also referred to as 'SNB-5 Navigator'. See further below for type & history details.

Mark wrote me in Dec.2015, in a reply on the Yahoo Beech18 forum:
"N375VU belongs to me, I have it on lease-back to the CAF Sqdn in San Marcos.
Yes, they have done some wonderful things to it. I had to keep it outside for the 10 years I had it, and since they wanted it polished, they had their work cut out for them!
They have done a good job bringing her up to excellent condition. Once she is all re-assembled, I will go there & start training their crews to operate the ship as a rides program ship. I think the training is gonna be fun, and those fellas will also have a great time flying her."

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Joe Baugher's website has the following history on it: 'BuNo.51242 (msn 5569), remanufactured by Beech as
SNB-5 ca.1954. Redesignated UC-45J in 1962. Sold to Vincennes University reg'd N375VU during the 1970's.
Sold to Academy AL during the early 80's. Stored Griffin(GA).
Registered to Mark L. Frederick Nov 30, 2004. Still active.'


"You're so vain.."

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Imagine, manufactured in 1943 and in such a shiny state! It does miss a few critical parts, though!
This is the history I found on http://goodall.com.au/beech18-production/beech18-part-1.pdf
History Beech18 N375VU

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
The hangar dates from 1943.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
N3646G is a North American AT-6 Texan (c/n AJ-688), registered to American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum.
The date of registration was a surprise: as recent as 23Oct2015!

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
On the aircraft one can read the tailnumber N547W; in small lettering: SNJ-3, s/n 05437, Bu. 78-7266.
On FAA's N-inquiry website I found N547W reg'd to Michael L. Collier of Lakeway,TX on 09Nov2010.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Lockheed T-33A N155SF (ex/ 56-1749, N61649). Robert L. Weeks of Liberty Hill,TX is the owner.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Nicknamed 'the Shooting Star', owning and flying it must be an expensive hobby!

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Lockheed T-33A 'Cow Pony 44' has been polished to a shiny gloss.


 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Bell P-39Q Airacobra, N6968 'Miss Connie'

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
This Stinson L-5 Sentinel (c/n 3551) is reg'd N4252K, to Jerry E. Patterson of Austin,TX (12Aug2010).

The Stinson L-5 Sentinel was a WWII era liaison aircraft used by all branches of the U.S. military and by the British Royal Air Force.
Along with the Stinson L-1 Vigilant, the L-5 was the only other American liaison aircraft of WWII that was purpose-built for military use and had no civilian counterpart. All other military liaison airplanes adopted during World War II were lightly modified 'off-the-shelf' civilian models.

 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
N5435A ('58310" is a Cessna 310B (c/n 35635).
It has been painted in the colours of one of the U-3 Blue Canoe aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force.
It is reg'd to the American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
N9272C '93555' is a North American AT-6C Harvard (also referred to as 'Texan').
Previous identities I found in Bob Ogden's (publ Air-Britain) Aviation Museums North America (2nd Ed.):
41-33583, EX610, 7303 South Africa.


San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
AT-6C '93555' was reg'd N9272C on 23Sep2000 for Warbird Flyers LLC (Austin,TX).
Add an engine and it'll be fine!

 


 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
This scene provoked me into a 'vintage makeover'.. Truth be told, that is the only hangardoor in such a state,
renovations and improvements continue on the hangar as well and that hangardoor will be taken care of too some day.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Clearly another Harvard with a South Africian past! This is N7678Z, a North American AT-6C with c/n 889156
on FAA's N-inquiry page; it also mentions a secondary type identification: SNJ-4. Manufactured in 1942.
N7678Z was reg'd to Thomas M. Lang (Lakeway,TX) on 09Oct2012.
I hope those South African Air Force markings will be retained!

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
A solid bunch of Harvards here! Another North American AT-6C, N211RF was reg'd on 17Apr06 to Richard F.
Furguson (Trustee), Canyon Lake,TX. From the www.cafcentex.com website I learned the following on N211RF:
'Ole Yeller' is a Navy SNJ-4 (but since in Texas, a Texan T-6C!) with Navy colors. It was built in 1942,
configured with swivel back seat and a camera port in the belly. It did not have a hook for carrier landings,
but has a later model tail wheel steering modification to allow steering with tail wheel locked. Most of the
plane is authentic 1950s configurations that the Navy installed. My father, Richard B Ferguson, bought it
from North Island NAS, San Diego,CA, in 1961, and did little to modify further through the years. He created
and painted the 'N211RF' serialnumber incorporating his initials: 'RF'. He flew the plane with a number of other
T-6s his buddies in Civil Air Patrol purchased at the same time, forming the 'National City Air Force', flying out
of National City Airport adjacent to San Diego,CA. They flew formation, aerobatics, and simulated dog fights
at local air shows, local events, and veterans ceremonies, much as we do in the CAF.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
This B-25 Mitchell WW2 bomber was a pleasant surprise, as I had failed to note in my Air-Britain reference book
the presence a warbird of this size residing here (As Nigel Hitchman pointed out later: "..it is listed seperately &
elsewhere under 'CAF Yellow Rose squadron' in Bob Ogden's book; but also here at San Marcos!").
I found North American B-25J (TB-25N) 'Yellow Rose' N25YR reg'd to the American Airpower Heritage
Flying Museum since 10Sep1991. Bob Ogden has its previous identities as: 43-27868, N9077Z.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
The www.cafcentex.com website offered the following: 'Yellow Rose', the christened name of this vintage B-25J
Mitchell WWII bomber, is once again touring the American skies. The bomber is completely restored to its
wartime capabilities and is operated by the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). It is one of
the flying museum pieces belonging to the organization's 'Ghost Squadron' aircraft collection. After four years,
the aircraft was lovingly restored to WWII condition by members of the Central Texas Wing and donated to the
CAF in 1981. Literally thousands of man hours were donated over the four year period by the members of the
Yellow Rose Squadron in order to bring the Rose back into full operational readiness.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
'Yellow Rose' visits an average of 25 cities and towns, across the United States, each year as a patriotic and
education exhibit dedicated to those who gave their all for world freedom during WWII.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
The website has more details on its history, including its WWII record: www.cafcentex.com/aircraft/B25.php

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
I could find no details of this 'Blue Angels' A-4(?).

 


 

Everts Air Cargo DC-9
DC-9-32F (manufactured in 1967!) N904CE is a long way from its home in Alaska!
What could it be doing here?!

Everts Air Cargo DC-9
N904CE is weighed down by a trailer, which has a groundpower loaded on top of it.
Everts Air Cargo has 4 DC-9-30s in their inventory, supposedly all operational. It is part of Rob Everts' plan to
diversify the company's market share and get a grip on business in the Lower 48. In fact in a 2016 article I read
that Everts is operating Boeing 727 N794AJ in Florida for Zero Gravity Corp., normally based at Ft.Lauderdale.

C/n 47040/172 (mfr 1967) flew with National AL (N931F), Evergreen Int'l AL (N931F), ABX Air (N904AX), then to Everts'.

San Marcos Airport, Texas
Could Tejas AeroServices be performing some sort of scheduled maintenance on Everts' DC-9-32F N904CE?
Their hangar seems too small to fit it in, so work would have to be done in the open air.

 


 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
There is a very interesting museum here, plenty of memorabilia to browse; on shows are many WWII
items including documents, uniforms, components, photographs and models.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Glad those cameras went down in size a bit!

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
In various museums I came across exhibits & tribute to the famous Doolittle Raid, but the section I found here was
the most comprehensive. I was told that a survivor (until recently two) lives nearby and manages a regular visit.
A prized possession is an armoured seat component from the B-25 piloted by Doolittle himself (I was told he was
the only one with such an armour plate protection though!). About this WWII raid on Tokyo can be read on Wikipedia.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

 



WW2 USAAF Airfields in England


 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
Clint Epley was our enthusiastic guide in the museum, full of interesting details and anecdotes, and he showed me
the comprehensive library too. Many books, log books & other archive materials are on hand to study or to browse.

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
The Stokes Aviation Library

 


 

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
CAF San Marcos

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF

San Marcos, Central Texas Wing CAF
What a nice sense of detail: even the men's are decorated with aviation art; I did not dare to check the women's though!

Enjoyed my visit tremendously!!!


 

LINKS
TEXAS 2015
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at William P. Hobby (Houston) Airport
Lone Star Flight Museum / Vietnam War Flight Museum (Galveston)
Highland Lakes Squadron (CAF), Burnet
Texas Air Museum - Stinson Chapter (San Antonio)
Cavanaugh Flight Museum (Addison)
Vintage Flying Museum, Ft. Worth
Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

EXTERNAL
Commemorative Air Force (CAF) on Wikipedia
Central Texas Wing (CAF), San Marcos

 

 

 


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