Focused on Mississippi: Commemorative Air Force acquires WWII aircraft

Focused on Mississippi

MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – It’s a Saturday afternoon and the members of the Madison, Mississippi Wing of the Commemorative Air Force are checking out their newest acquisition: a training aircraft built during World War Two. Karl Holcomb flew it to Mississippi from where it has been for the last few decades, Nacogdoches, Texas.

“It flies good. It’s docile. But being the trainer for military, they wanted you to learn aerobatics. They wanted you to learn all those things you needed to learn to survive, being a fighter pilot or a bomber pilot. Being a primary trainer, they wanted something fairly easy, but not too easy,” said Holcomb.

The Commemorative Air Force here in Madison has a collection of vintage aircraft and keeps them at the Madison Air Port. Occasionally, they have an open house and put them on display. Last weekend would have been one of their big weekends in conjunction with the annual Trail of Honor military tribute. It wasn’t held this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you like antiques or history in general, you will want to come see this plane next time it’s on display.

“This particular airplane was built in 1943. It’s called a PT-19. PT stood for primary trainer. This one was actually over in Meridian at the air station there. So, it’s spent time in Mississippi in its history, which is one of the reasons why it was so unique and so special for us to get a hold of this aircraft because it has history here in the state,” explained Holcomb.

Last Saturday’s short excursion was just a taxi out and a taxi back so other members could get a look at the new addition to the collection. But pretty soon, we will all have a chance to get a very close look at it. 

“And so hopefully just a little while later in the summer then, we may be able to have an open house, and we can have people come in and then be ready to sell some rides. And give some people some experiences on what it was like back then,” said Holcomb.

They were the state of the art air trainer 75 plus years ago. It’s interesting to see this one still in this good of a shape.

By the way, they’re looking for a good name for the aircraft. If you think you have a good name, post it to the Mississippi Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Facebook page. If they pick your name, you get a free ride. 

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