Confederate Air Force


“An awfully small tail trying to wag an awfully big dog”

No, this isn’t an alternate history scenario involving a rogue time-traveling general from Alabama trying to rewrite the Civil War. There were actual formations of white fighter planes belonging to the CFA flying over Texas.

Back in 1962, SAGA Magazine for Men (long defunct) sent a photographer by the name of Leonard Kamsler to interview the pilots of the CAF and take some photos. SAGA was wholesome by the standards of the time, no blood-drenched tales of lesbian murder, no gross pictures from a nudist camp, just tales of high adventure and war stories. The photographer, Leonard Kamsler, would go on to have an impressive career including work for Disney.

The CAF’s “Rebel Field” was located near what passed for downtown Mercedes back then and the man most responsible for founding the ragtag bunch of pilots and old crop dusters was Floyd Nolen. “Colonel” Nolen. Every man in the unit referred to himself as a colonel to show equality among the pilots. Billy Drawe, another pilot, liked to smoke cigars and drink mint juleps in his cockpit after a flight. Class act.

HT @somethingawful

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