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Pilot Harry Boswell and his crew...

B29 Bill Cavan & Pilot Harry Boswell 68 years later for Boswell's 90th Birthday.

Commemorative Air Force to land at Dallas Executive Airport

Bruce Lipsky/Florida Times-Union
Dan Owens sits in the flight engineer’s seat of “Fifi,” a B-29 Superfortress that is part of the Commemorative Air Force tour. The “warbird” group is moving to Dallas from Midland.

B29 Bill Cavan flew B29s during WW II based in Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

A B29 Super Fortress based on Tinian during WW II.

These missions were not flown in vain ...They helped win the war !!!


Staff Writers

Published: 28 April 2014 11:02 PM

Updated: 28 April 2014 11:27 PM

Prospects are looking up for Dallas Executive Airport.

The city’s long-languishing airport will become the new home of the Commemorative Air Force.

The nonprofit’s move to southern Dallas, which will include its national headquarters and “a major new visitor attraction” and air show, is expected to be announced Tuesday at a news conference with a dozen vintage warplanes on the runway.

Officials declined to discuss details of the planned move, but the organization reportedly plans to build a museum and base planes at the former Red Bird Airport.

The addition dovetails with the city’s efforts to increase activity and development at Dallas Executive. City officials hope the airport in turn can spur economic growth nearby.

“We’re getting an icon to southern Dallas and the area,”
said Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins, a longtime airport supporter.

 “It’s going to create more restaurants, more hotels and more action.”

The CAF, which focuses on preserving vintage aircraft and educating the public about the role of military aviation, announced plans to relocate its national headquarters from Midland last year.

The decision rocked the West Texas city, which had lured the organization, then known as the Confederate Air Force, from Harlingen in 1991.

Since then, the base has been a prime tourist attraction and a point of pride for West Texans. CAF president Stephan Brown has promised the museum and an air show will continue in Midland.

But the group, which calls itself “the premier warbird organization” with more than 160 vintage aircraft, needed a higher national profile with good highway access and a larger population to reach more people, Brown said last year.

Dallas Executive Airport, a general aviation facility, was one of 23 sites initially considered for the relocation. It was selected in the final round over Ellington Field in Houston and North Texas Regional Airport near Sherman and Denison.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings could not be reached for comment Monday. Brown declined to comment, saying in an email, “We look forward to sharing our full plans at the press conference.”

Airport neighbors reacted to the announcement with caution.

“The museum itself might be something good,” said Raymond Crawford, who lives near the airport. “But if they’re going to make the air show a part of it, I think that’s a whole ’nother conversation.”

Crawford, who has written to the Federal Aviation Administration complaining about the lack of neighborhood input into a proposed airport upgrade, said air shows would bring increased traffic and noise near the airport.

Another airport neighbor, Barbara Macleod, said she welcomes the addition, “as long as they’re not doing air shows every weekend.”

“It won’t be peaceful whenever there’s a show. But it’s part of living by an airport,” she said. “It will bring attention and business down this direction.”

Crawford said members of his group, called Neighbors of Dallas Executive Airport, are pro-development.

“We want more development in Oak Cliff. But we’d like to be included in the process,” he said.

“We have been left completely out — no emails, no knocks [on the door], no postcards, no door hangers, no formal meeting, no nothing.”

One meeting held a few weeks ago with the city’s aviation director came only after residents requested it, Crawford said.

The city plans to rebuild the airport’s two runways and lengthen one of them.

Hammond Perot, assistant director of economic development, said any agreement between the city and the CAF requires City Council approval.

Discussions of financial support that would include relocation costs and construction at the airport are still underway.

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