About This Aircraft
CAF Airbase Arizona has recently embarked on an ambitious program to restore Old Number 30, a C-47 with a distinguished World War II special operations history, and maintain the aircraft as a “flying museum.” After spending many years lost to history, Old Number 30 is now ready for its story to be told. The aircraft was named for a mule that was carried in the airplane on a top-secret mission to the Balkans on Aug. 4, 1944. Thirty-six mules and 12 75mm guns were delivered to partisan forces to haul through the mountains and attack the Nazi occupiers of modern-day Montenegro. This was just one of many missions Old Number 30 flew behind enemy lines, not only to supply covert forces, but to participate in the extraction of some 500 American airmen who had crashlanded or bailed out in the region. This effort was orchestrated by the OSS, forerunner to the CIA, which made routine use of Old Number 30.
Support This Aircraft
After operating the airplane on a lease basis, CAF Airbase Arizona was successful in raising funds to purchase the aircraft in 2014. A progressive restoration plan has been developed that will allow the aircraft to keep flying, while being gradually returned to its original World War II condition. The first major item to be addressed is the outside appearance of the airplane. The initial goal is to raise $100,000 to repaint it with an authentic paint scheme from the daring missions. Airbase Arizona will use Old Number 30 to honor the courage of the American airmen who flew some of the most dangerous missions in WWII. The aircraft will continue to offer living history ride flights, and an educational program is being developed, using audio and visual technology, to take an audience “on a mission” in the airplane into occupied Europe. To support this aircraft click HERE.
About This Unit
Established in 1978, CAF Airbase Arizona is one of the CAF’s largest units. It is responsible for caring for seven of the CAF’s most iconic airplanes, including the B-17 “Sentimental Journey.” The Airbase is located at Falcon Field in Mesa, Ariz. where their 30,000 square foot museum exhibits several World War II displays including the roles the state of Arizona played in World War II. During the summer months many of the Airbase’s aircraft are on tour nationwide, they may be visiting an airport near you!