PEACHTREE CITY, GA. (Dec. 1, 2023) – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Airbase Base Georgia is participating in the 2023 “Twelve Planes of Christmas”, an annual online giving campaign to support the all-volunteer organization’s education mission of restoring and flying vintage military aircraft. Airbase Georgia has two aircraft in the program this year, to help fund the completion of a World War II-era Republic P-47N Thunderbolt fighter and Boeing N2S Stearman Kaydet. Both aircraft are well into the restoration process.
This campaign gives the public an opportunity to support the Stearman project dedicated to “Rosie the Riveter,” the cultural icon representing women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, helping transform America into the Arsenal of Democracy. Once completed, the Stearman will become part of the organization’s fleet of historic aircraft. The Airbase Georgia restoration team includes several female members dedicated to carrying on the “Rosie” legacy through a community outreach program that inspires youth to explore American History and careers in aviation.
Airbase Georgia’s P-47N is one of the CAF’s original aircraft acquired by CAF founder Lloyd P. Nolen in 1963. The Thunderbolt did not see combat during World War II. After the war, the aircraft was assigned to the Puerto Rico Air National Guard before transfer to the Nicaraguan Air Force, eventually seeing combat in Central America.
The campaign to raise funds for the two aircraft begins Dec. 1 and continues through Dec. 31, 2023. The goal is to raise $50,000 to help purchase alerions and flaps for the P-47N. During the same period, Airbase Georgia is seeking $10,000 to purchase a new radio, avionics, and instrument package for the Stearman. The Ray Foundation, Inc. has offered to match up to $50,000 in donations to the Thunderbolt, while an anonymous donor has offered to match up to $2,800 for the Stearman. The Ray Foundation, Inc. was co-founded by James C. Ray, a distinguished World War II pilot who believed that American youth can benefit from the lessons learned in aviation.
“The Ray Foundation’s and anonymous donor’s generosity has inspired our volunteers and will make a tremendous impact in restoring the Thunderbolt” said Airbase Leader Joel Perkins “12 Planes of Christmas is a perfect way for us to help the public participate in our mission.”