Ride with us on September 22 and help create history
Our C-47 Old Number 30 WWII warbird will fly over a historic football game between Texas Wesleyan University and Arizona Christian University. We’re offering a very limited number of seats to the public to be apart of this event. Cost is $150 each. Purchase before they sell out by clicking here.
The History Behind The Game
When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Texas Wesleyan football team left the field and walked into the nearest recruiting office to enlist in the armed forces. This honorable action resulted in the university disbanding its football program for 75 long years. After starting back up last year without any coaches, players, prospects or even a field to play on, Coach Joe Prud’homme built a program from scratch and September 22 marks the first time the team has set foot in Arizona since WWII. When Don Kile of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club learned about the sacrifices the 1941 team made and heard about the current team’s struggles to rebuild the program on a shoestring, he decided to welcome them back to Arizona in style, with a Warbird flyover and all!
To commemorate the gridiron warriors of the past and present, AZCAF agreed to participate with a flyover of Old Number 30 – our own combat warrior who has seen more WWII action than any other aircraft in the CAF fleet. Her crew earned a Presidential Unit Citation award for their numerous brave secret missions and rescues. And our C-47 may have crossed paths with some of the Texas Wesleyan players, in particular, a Brigadier General named Frank “Spot” Collins.
We believe Brig. General Collins is one of the football team players who enlisted that day in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces and served as a P-40 Warhawk and P-47 Thunderbolt pilot with the 319th Fighter Squadron of the 325th Fighter Group in Connecticut. He was assigned to the North Africa and the Mediterranean Theatre from January 1943 to March 1944 where he received a Silver Star that reflected nine victories and 79 missions. Our C-47 was in the same Theatre from 1943 to 1945.
AZCAF will be remembering this historic flyover by recreating an iconic photo taken of a stealth bomber that flew over the Rose Bowl, admittedly a bit smaller in scope.