Commemorative Air Force Launches Annual “12 Planes of Christmas” Campaign

Just a few of the CAF aircraft posing in front of the new Victor N. Agather Hangar at the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center at the Dallas HQ. Photo by Gary Daniels
FAGEN Restorations

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) announced the launch of its “12 Planes of Christmas” campaign  today. This fundraiser helps provide the capital necessary to restore some of the organization’s most important vintage World War II aircraft back to flying condition. Now in its seventh year, the annual online giving campaign for 2021 runs from December 1st through the 31st. To learn about the campaign, select an aircraft to support, and donate towards its restoration, please visit

Recognized as the world’s largest flying museum, the Commemorative Air Force maintains a fleet of over 170 World War II aircraft – more than 70 percent of which are airworthy. As already noted, the “12 Planes of Christmas” campaign supports the organization’s efforts, and those of its volunteer members, to restore the historic warbirds in preparation for flights, tours, and educational programs. The selected aircraft require renovations which range from acquiring new propeller blades and tires to upgrading communication and avionics gear, to rebuilding or installing new engines.

“For nearly 65 years, the Commemorative Air Force has preserved a collection of combat aircraft flown by all military branches of the United States. By maintaining and flying these airplanes, displaying them at events, and allowing people to ride and tour them, we preserve the legacy of the people who built, maintained, and flew them during World War II,” said Hank Coates, CAF president, and CEO. “We’re honored to be the custodians of these important aircraft and to educate younger generations about the invaluable contributions military aviation has made in assuring our nation’s freedom.”

Each year, twelve aircraft from the CAF’s fleet are selected to be featured during the “12 Planes of Christmas” campaign. One additional aircraft – “the Phoenix project” – is included to highlight an aircraft which has just made its first post-restoration flight, or will soon do so. The airplanes selected for this year’s campaign come from 12 different CAF units spread across eight states. These aircraft are not only historically significant, but their restoration/upkeep will have a demonstrated impact upon their respective communities.

This year’s 12 Planes of Christmas aircraft include:







South Dakota


“By contributing to the 12 Planes of Christmas, donors are directly supporting the CAF in a very tangible way – helping to maintain and return aircraft to the skies,” said RozeLyn Beck, CAF Chief Relationship Officer. “These aircraft represent some of the most important contributions to our nation’s military aviation history and restoring them provides the public with a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made for the liberties we enjoy today.”

As part of the “12 Planes of Christmas” campaign, donations can also be directed to the CAF’s Restoration Grant Fund. Established in 2008, this matching grant fund doubles individual donations, helping return aircraft back to the skies faster. The Restoration Grant Fund has supported more than 50 aircraft across the nation, many of which have now returned to flight.

The CAF does not receive government funding to restore and preserve these iconic aircraft. The funding comes from a variety of sources such as ride revenue and appearance fees, but mostly we rely on the generosity of personal and corporate donations.

To contribute to the 12 Planes of Christmas campaign, click HERE.

About the Commemorative Air Force

Founded in 1957, the Commemorative Air Force has amassed more than 170 World War II aircraft – the largest such collection in the world. Through the work of more than 11,000 volunteers across 83 units, the CAF’s educational outreach programs connect with an estimated 20 million Americans each year, providing unique, compelling hands-on access to history. For more information about the Commemorative Air Force, please visit


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