- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 27, 2001

NORFOLK (AP) A group focusing on the history and preservation of vintage aircraft is dropping the word "confederate" from its name to attract more sponsors and better reflect the organization's purpose.
As of January, the Confederate Air Force will be known as the Commemorative Air Force.
The change was sparked, in part, by the fact that in recent years some sponsors have been reluctant to back air shows and other activities because the word "confederate" was part of the group's name.
"We are running into a brick wall with getting sponsors and money," said Ed Lucas, the group's Old Dominion Squadron unit leader.
This year, the annual air show hosted each summer by the Old Dominion Squadron may be canceled if $25,000 isn't raised by mid-January, Mr. Lucas said.
The organization's members also were concerned that the old name didn't reflect the group's objectives of restoring, maintaining and flying World War II vintage aircraft and preserving the stories of the men and women who built, serviced and flew them.
In October, CAF members worldwide cast their votes for one of four names, including Ghost Squadron, Heritage Air Force and Heritage Flying Museum.
"We use the initials extensively, and I think keeping the same initials was one of the reasons the Commemorative Air Force name was selected," said Bill Bean, a member of the Old Dominion Squadron.
The CAF has no connection to the Civil War. In 1957, when it was founded, five friends in South Texas split the $2,500 price of an Air Force surplus P-51 Mustang. One night, a prankster slipped into the airport and painted "Confederate Air Force" on the Mustang's fuselage. Amused, the five partners kept the name.
Today, there are more than 11,000 members from 75 squadrons in 27 states and four countries maintaining and flying 141 vintage World War II aircraft. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization prides itself on being the world's largest flying museum.
The Old Dominion Squadron, with 100 members based at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport in Chesapeake, maintains a Lockheed C-60 Lodestar transport and a Stinson L-5 Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft.
The squadron hopes to build a hangar-housed aviation museum at the airport and is seeking funds for that project as well as sponsorships for its annual air show.

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