CAF Central Texas Wing
San Marcos, TX


The 2021 Go Wheels Up Air, Auto and Music Show – The Future is Here (and it looks good).

By Eric K. Renth for World Airshow News

Several past articles in World Airshow News have talked about the need for airshow to be more than airshows, by adding things such as car shows or even concerts. Well, folks, Cory Morrow’s Go Wheels Up in San Marcos Texas at the City’s Regional Airport (once known as Gary A.F.B.) did just that and it was downright fun! It was held on May 29th and 30th.

Cory Morrow is a well known Texas singer, songwriter and musician who came onto the scene in the mid 90’s. I have his first CD from 1997 as a matter of fact. He may not yet be as well known as Waylon or Willie but a has a strong, loyal following. I have had the pleasure of meeting him and he really is an all around good guy with talent to boot. He started this as a desire to give back for his success and funds from the show go to area charities such as the San Marcos Education Foundation, San Marcos Greater Youth Council and the Commemorative Air force Central Texas Wing.

Perhaps the biggest V.I.P that was out there (and a first class gentleman) was 99 year old retired US Marine Corps Colonel Joe McPhail. A native of grand Saline Texas, he went on active duty three days before the Pearl Harbor attack. His flight training was at NAS Corpus Christi and NAS Kingsville. He was then assigned to Marine Fighter Squadron 441 which was flying the F4F-4 Wildcat in the Central Pacific Theater. He came back to the US to be a flight instructor at the now closed MCAS El Toro CA in the Marine Machine, better known as the Vought F-4U Corsair until 1944.

Later that year, he joined F-4U unit VMF-323 (now flying the FA-18C Hornet) also called the Death Rattlers and went back to the Pacific. In1945, He shot down two Japanese aircraft. At the start of the Korean War, he flew newer versions of the F-4U Corsair in that theater with VMF-214, the famous BlackSheep squadron flying ground support missions. They flew off the carrier USS Sicily. He retired with many awards including 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 11 Air Medals.

The aircraft static displays included the C.A.F. Central Texas Wing’s aircraft including Douglas C-47 Gooney Bird ‘ That’s All Brother" which gained fame as the lead pathfinder aircraft of the D Day invasion of June 6th, 1944. It was literally saved from the scrap heap and had a lot of TLC to fly again in 2019. It also toured Europe that year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D Day invasion.

Others included several T-6 Texans, a Bell P-39, and North American T-28B Trojan. Modern military included a Beech T-6A Texan 2 out of Columbus AFB MS and Army National Guard UH-60M Black Hawk based out of Austin Bergstrom Airport (again a former Air Force Base which housed RF- 4C Phantoms). Many civil planes were there also.

On the auto show scene, there were a couple of monster trucks, several 1950s Chevys and Caddys plus VW Bugs. You name it, it was there. I’m so amazed at the work that car lovers put into these beautiful autos. Many awaiting scrap in a junk yard but go from ugly duckling to swan,

Music wise, the acts included Cory Morrow closing out the evening with a solo act earlier by by Cory’s lead guitarist, John Carroll. I really enjoyed Los Texmaniacs with a cool Tejano sound. Their rendition of the Chicken Dance got ‘em dancing! Montclair, Kyle Hutton, South Austin Moonlighters, and Zack Wilkerson all put on fine shows also.

That Saturday afternoon, I was at the gate as a volunteer. I was stamping hands for folks to come back in and answering questions. There was a hope that four thousand folks would be paring customers each day. More than ten thousand came! Yep, that’s success and I look forward to next year. This was actually the second GWU, the first was 2019. Nothing last year thanks to a certain Communist government. With all of the aviation history in San Antonio, sadly, air shows there are sporadic, so maybe San Marcos can fill the gap!

A special note of thanks to Mitch Royer and Jake Clements of VAST Productions plus Joe Enzminger of the C.A.F. Central Texas Wing for their great help!

Some more photos of Aircraft that are display at the site.