Friends of DeRidder Army Air Base
Beauregard Regional Airport (KDRI)
1220 1st Ave,  DeRidder, Louisiana 70634
337 463 8250                                                    

2013 Wings & Wheels

We’ve been having way too much fun!


Monday 09/30…The transition of the CAF P51-C Mustang from Lake Charles to DeRidder proved to be a big day for WWII Vet and Bronze Star recipient Crew Chief Howard Blackburn.  He was able to get his 1st ride in the P51 some 70 years after his service during WWII. CAF pilot Alan Miller got him within 6 miles of KDRI and had to turn back due to weather.  Mr. Blackburn thoroughly enjoyed the experience!  See Howard Blackburn story


Tue thru Thurs, 10/1-3 the CAF RISE ABOVE traveling exhibit arrived at KDRI and was viewed by over 520 area school kids bussed to Beauregard Regional Airport by a very supportive School Board, administrators and teachers. Airport staff and volunteers provided hangar tours and answered lots of questions from lots of future pilots and A&Ps. Total count of viewers for the 4 days was pretty close to 1100.  See photos

Friday 10/04 finally brought the CAF P51-C to KDRI, piloted by CAF pilot Brad Lang. Dennis Squires, Branch Manager of the Barksdale Federal Credit Union and a major sponsor of our event got the “jump” seat.  

Friday evening kicked off with a little "swing" at the USO War Memorial Civic Center. Aviation Explorer Post 3093 “chix” dressed to welcome the boys from the 506th Venture Crew WWII Reenactors at the USO show and dance. 

All this was topped off with a visit from a very special man. 98 year old Paul Dutcher stopped by to meet AEPost 3096. He’d read about their building project (Zenith STOL CH750) in the paper. He was an Explorer in the late ‘30’s before he joined the Army in 1940.

Now that’s what I call “bridging the gap”

......and the winner of the raffle to ride in the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron P-51C Mustang was Donnette Judd of Merryville, Louisiana  pictured here with CAF Pilot Brad Lang.

Winning ticket was purchased at Stine Lumber Company in DeRidder, Louisiana