The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is a volunteer/member based working historic military museum, originally dealing predominantly with restoration and preservation of military aircraft but now expanded both here and internationally to cover vehicles and other associated equipment, artifacts, uniform etc also and even re-enactment or living history. our Mission and motto is: "Commemoration and Education of people through Preservation and Operation of the artifacts".
The CAF was originally formed in the USA in the 1950s by ex US Army Air Corps personnel with the aim to preserve at least one of every military aircraft type used during WW2 as a memorial to those who served in or with them, but has since expanded to include the post WW2 era as well.
CAF now has "Wings" or "Squadrons" and about 11000 members worldwide, and there are about 150 historic military aircraft in the global fleet with two thirds of them operational at any time, as unlike most museums the CAF aims to restore artifacts to operational status, then fly, drive or operate them!!
Here in the Commemorative Air Force New Zealand Wing (CAFNZW) we are also a member based, non profit organisation. We are working hard to re-establish our own permanent museum hangar and restoration workshop facilities as well as obtain for restoration to operational status an aircraft to replace those hangars and aircraft the wing previously restored and built but lost due to frauds committed against us by an outside group.
The Wing comprises various divisions, including Aviation, Motor-Transport, Armaments, Communications, Living History and Museum. Members can become actively involved in any or all of them as their interest and time permits.
Activities for the membership include hands on restoration and maintenance of various historic military equipment's, under certified supervision when relevant, the operation of said equipment's once relevant training or licensing is obtained as well as attendance with the equipment's at commemorative events and staging both static and live displays at various venues. Those involved in the living history side of things also wear the uniform of the historic Units depicted by the wing.
If you wish to find out more or wish to join the CAFNZW and help with our ambitious mission to honour the service people of the past and educate the younger generations of their deeds via the equipment they used in service, are not afraid of hard work, have a skill to offer that would help the wing or just love working on historic machinery and equipment to bring it back to life so as to tell the story of conflicts past by the sight, sound, smell and experience of learning to operate them, for the public to see.
CAF Membership applications can be located here