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The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection - Confederate Air Force (1979)

Tyrrell Historical Library

Sound | 1979

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  •  On locating World War II aircraft 
  •  Membership 
  •  Honorary members include Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma; Barry Goldwater; and Bob Hope 
 
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  • PM Magazine PM Magazine
  • Commemorative Air Force Commemorative Air Force
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In this 1979 segment for PM Magazine, co-host John Walls profiles the Confederate Air Force. Now known as the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), the nonprofit organization collects and restores World War II aircraft. After speaking with CAF members, Walls observes a recreation of the Pearl Harbor attack at a Beaumont air field. PM Magazine was a local news and entertainment television program broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV in from late 1970s to the mid-1980s. This segment aired on October 16, 1979.
PM Magazine, also known as Evening Magazine, was a local weeknight news and entertainment television series broadcast on multiple stations across the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The program combined both local and syndicated segments, with common subjects including local people and events, lifestyle and consumer tips, and human-interest pieces. KPIX in San Francisco premiered the first iteration of Evening Magazine on August 9, 1976. Station owner Westinghouse (Group W) Broadcasting subsequently introduced local versions at its other stations, before syndicating the format to other television markets as PM Magazine. 
 
The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection encompasses hundreds of PM Magazine segments broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV between 1979 and 1985. Leeza Gibbons and John Walls were the program’s original co-hosts. Gibbons went on to become a correspondent and co-host for Entertainment Tonight from 1984 to 2000. She also hosted her own daytime talk show, Leeza, from 1993 to 2000. 
 
At least ten other Texas stations produced versions of PM Magazine, including KFDA in Amarillo, KTBC in Austin, WFAA and KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, KVIA in El Paso, KHOU and KHTV in Houston, KCBD in Lubbock, KSAT in San Antonio, and KAUZ in Wichita Falls. Group W canceled the format in 1990, with final episodes airing on August 30, 1991. 
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF), formerly known as the Confederate Air Force, unofficially began in 1957, when a small group of ex-service pilots from the Rio Grande Valley purchased a P-51 Mustang. Within three years, CAF made acquiring, restoring, and maintaining World War II combat aircraft its primary mission. CAF showcased its growing fleet in museum spaces at the old Rebel Field in Mercedes, Texas, before moving to a new Rebel Field in Harlingen. The organization is currently headquartered at Dallas Executive Airport in Dallas. As of 2015, CAF owned 166 aircraft and boasted more than 12,000 volunteer members.