In 1957, CAF founder Lloyd Nolen, a former World War II Army Air Corps flight instructor, and a small group of friends pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang and share the pleasure and expense of maintaining the aircraft.
This group of veteran pilots called itself, "Mustang and Company."
By 1960, the group began to search seriously for other World War II aircraft but it quickly became apparent that few remained in flying condition. By the end of World War II, America had produced nearly 300,000 aircraft.
A short 15 years later, almost all the warbirds were gone. Decommissioned and stripped of armament and instruments, most of these proud warriors were scrapped or abandoned.
No one, not even the Air Force or Navy, was preserving the historic aircraft that changed the world forever.
The fledgling CAF made it their mission to preserve a flying example of every type
of American aircraft that had helped secure our freedom.
What started as a hobby became an urgent mission to preserve history.
Learn more at the CAF website.