Brady resident donates C-47/DC-3 to Highland Lakes Squadron

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Special to the Bulletin

Karl Ritter, of Brady, generously donated the “Texas Zephyr” to the Commemorative Air Force’s Highland Lakes Squadron based at Kate Craddock Field in Burnet. The Texas Zephyr was manufactured in 1945 by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Ritter, the donor of the airplane, expressed that he wished to see the Texas Zephyr restored to its original glory and believes that the Commemorative Air Force’s Highland Lakes Squadron would be best suited to do just that after spending thousands of hours restoring the Bluebonnet Belle.The Zephyr is currently positioned at the Brady Curtis Airfield in Brady, and will require some mechanical work prior to relocation to Burnet. This will hopefully take place by the summer of next year, just in time for the Bluebonnet Air Show which is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2020. 

CAF Colonel David Bonorden, the Highland Lakes Squadron Leader shared the news of the acquisition at the squadron meeting just a few weeks ago and the squadron members had the opportunity to meet Ritter and his family personally.

"We’ve always considered ourselves a C-47 squadron; this just made sense," Bonorden said. "We’re very grateful for the generosity of Mr. Ritter and we’re committed to making this airplane the very best it can be.”

"This is not only great for the Commemorative Air Force’s Highland Lakes Squadron, this is a blessing to the entire Highland Lakes Community," added Squadron member and Bluebonnet Air Show Chairman Colonel Kirk Noaker. "Since the formation of our organization in 1992, our aircraft have been beloved by the community. I’m excited that we’re able to add the Texas Zephyr and it’s 74 years of aviation history to the Squadron and the City of Burnet’s Municipal Airport.”

Learn more about the Texas Zephyr and what the generous donation means to the Highland Lakes Squadron and the City of Burnet in the Wednesday, Nov. 27 issue of the Burnet Bulletin.
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