Founded in 1957, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the leading organization devoted to preserving US military aviation history. Today, CAF operates, maintains and is restoring more than 170 World-War-II-era military aircraft, including B-17s, P-51s and C-47s. CAF’s 11,000 members are the proud gatekeepers of an important chapter in our history. Their mission is to keep it alive through flights, events and artifacts. CAF has 86 chapters across the country, including the Minnesota Wing in St. Paul.
Jason “Mac” McNeil is the Maintenance Officer of the CAF’s Minnesota Wing.
“My father was in the Air Force and I was born on Offutt AFB in Nebraska. As a young man, I joined the Marine Corps, serving until 1992. Around 1999, I became involved with the CAF. Then, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 compelled me to sign up with the Minnesota Air National Guard, where I’ve worked principally on maintaining C-130s. Today, my “day job” is serving as a mechanic for Delta Airlines, where I mostly work on scheduled line maintenance on various aircraft in our fleet. I guess aviation is just in my blood!” explains Mac.
“Our chapter has five WWII-era aircraft in service, one in restoration and another in storage. Our B-25 is probably the most popular with the general public. With a crew of three, it can accommodate up to six passengers. At airshows, folks go up for a 30-to-45-minute flight. I’ve never seen a person land without a big smile on their face.”