Arizona Wing CAF – Mesa, Arizona
The Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is located at 2017 North Greenfield Road at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Arizona. This museum is funded and run completely by volunteers, and their goal is to preserve aviation history and wartime memorabilia. They do not get any government funding, and rely solely on donations and museum fees.
The Arizona Wing CAF operates and maintains aircraft from WWII to Vietnam. Much of the memorabilia in the museum has been donated by veterans and their families so that others can get a feel for America’s aviation history. Preserving these aircraft as an important part of American history is a tribute to the many men and women who flew them, serviced them and built them.
The museum at the Arizona Wing is filled to the brim with fun and interesting displays and artifacts. The museum also offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of aircraft, from the B-17 Flying Fortress to the MiG-15bis to the A 26 Invader. Many interesting experiences wait within, including a chance to find out what every one of the ten members of a B-17 crew did, and their position in the plane. Other exhibits include wartime uniforms and flight jackets, murals and the "Home Front" display which includes things like ration coupon books and Rosie the Riveter items.
Tourists can even schedule a ride in one of the warbirds by contacting the Arizona Wing in advance for times and pricing. Visitors can choose to ride in the B-17 G, the C-45 WWII transport, or the T-6 SNJ WWII trainer. In addition to the regular aircraft, exhibits and artifacts that are currently on display, the Arizona Wing offers special exhibits during the year, such as Night in the 40s Big Band Dance and the Military Vehicle Show.
Visitors to the Arizona Wing CAF should plan to step into the gift shop after they have been through the museum to pick up an aviation souvenir to take home with them. There are unique gifts and aviation items that can be purchased, which help to support the museum and maintain their aircraft.
The winter hours of operation for the Arizona CAF are from October 15 to May 14. They are open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. seven days a week, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The summer hours of operation are from May 15 to October 14. The hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during this season. The admission prices are $7 for those age 14 to adult. For those ages 6-13, the admission price is $3. Those children five and under are admitted free. The Arizona Wing CAF also has an Event Facility that can be rented for a variety of purposes. To get more information, call 480-924-1940.