Minnesota Wing CAF
Minnesota Wing CAF
310 Airport Road – Fleming Field Hangar #3
South St. Paul, Minnesota 55075
The Minnesota Wing is an active WWII aircraft museum with seven aircraft, a growing museum and numerous vehicles.
“Miss Mitchell” is the pristine example of what a dedicated group of volunteers can accomplish. The aircraft was a donation to the Minnesota Wing in the 1980’s. Volunteers immediately began a complete ground-up restoration of this versatile medium bomber. Made famous in 1942 by the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Miss Mitchell made her maiden flight exactly 50 years later on April 16, 1992 and has been attending airshows and educating adults and youth equally ever since.
“Tuskegee Airmen” is the newest flying addition to our fleet. This aircraft has been in restoration for more than 10 years, and flew for the first time in May, 2001. One of only four P-51C’s left in existence, this aircraft is painted with a bright red tail to commemorate and preserve the memory of the contributions made by the Tuskegee Airmen. The Mustang bears markings and insignia from every Tuskegee Airman fighter unit which served during WWII. Absolutely spectacular in restoration, “Tuskegee Airmen” appears nationwide on its’ new educational mission.
The Minnesota Wing is the proud custodian of two PBY Catalina aircraft. This particular aircraft, known to us as simple “Blue PBY” is seen here in flight prior to an extremely severe storm on May 30th, 1998. That storm destroyed several hangars and aircraft. The PBYwas ripped from its’ anchors and flipped onto its back, causing heavy damage to the wing, engine nacelles, props, tail and some damage to the fuselage. The aircraft is currently in restoration at our Fleming Field location and will return to the air again, a better, more historically accurate aircraft.
In 1999, we acquired a second PBY not surprisingly known to us as “the red PBY”. This aircraft was recently in service as a fire bomber and still retains functional fire-fighting equipment. During airshows, the PBY may be seen dumping water on the field performing a demonstration to remember one of the roles the PBY played after World War II. This aircraft is maintained and operated by the Minnesota Wing and is based in our Duluth location.
All pilots, whether they were destined for fighters or bombers, had to go through the pilot training process. One of the most important aircraft for developing new pilot skills was the BT-13 Valiant, sometimes known as the “Vibrator” ~ not for what it did to you, but to the windows of buildings when it flew by. A fixed gear aircraft, thousands of pilots learned critical flying skills and then continued on to the advanced trainer
The most important advanced pilot trainer of World War II was the AT-6 Texan. The aircraft was so good and so popular, that it was used by many different service branches and many different countries. Our aircraft was one of those licensed by Canadian Car and Foundry in Canada where it was known as the “Harvard”. A much more advanced and challenging airplane than the BT-13, pilots who earned their wings on this great aircraft went on to learn how to fly the fighter or bomber that they would likely see combat with.