by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
June 27, 2002
The Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) located in San Marcos, Texas is dedicated, along with its sister wings, to the task of preserving, in flying condition, a complete collection of combat aircraft which were flown by all military services of the allied forces during World War II.
An important goal of this group is to also perpetuate, in the memory and in the hearts of all freedom loving people, the spirit in which these great planes were flown in the defense of our freedom.
They have accomplished this through the establishment of an organization that has converted dedication, enthusiasm and a huge amount of hard work into living museums that permanently protect and display these aircraft as a tribute to the thousands of men and women who built, serviced and flew them.
The San Marcos unit (Centex Wing) is located at the San Marcos Municipal Airport. From Austin Texas you can get there by driving south on I-35 approximately 25 miles and exiting off on exit 205. You will travel east for 1 mile and turn north onto Texas Highway 21. The airport is located 2 miles on the right, and from there follow the signs to their hanger.
The museum is housed in the only remaining 1943 vintage wooden hanger on the airport. Visitors are invited to tour the WW II Artifacts Exhibits, the display dedicated to the Doolittle Raiders, and one dedicated to the old Gary Army Air Base. A number of other displays can also be viewed.
In addition to the many static displays are a number of WW II aircraft that, thanks to a great deal of dedication and hard work, still actually fly in the various air shows that the CAF sponsors or participates in. To mention a few of the aircraft in this unit would include; a P-39 Bell Airacobra, a P-40 Warhawk (Flying Tiger), a flying replica of a Japanese "Kate" torpedo bomber, a flying replica of a Japanese Zero, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, a AT-6 Trainer and several others.
There is no charge for this unique experience, but since this is a nonprofit organization, any donation you want to place in the glass jar inside the gift shop would be appreciated. The museum is generally opened every day during normal work hours, but since volunteers hosting it, it may be wise to call and confirm that they are open the day you want to visit (512-396-1943).
There is also a very well stocked gift shop with an array of reasonably priced memorabilia to select from.
From journal San Marcos- Then & Now