70th Anniversary of VE Day Arsenal of Democracy
World War II Victory Capitol Flyover
To honor the heroes who fought in the War and those on the home front who produced the tanks, ships, and aircraft that enabled the United States and its Allies to achieve victory, one of the most diverse arrays of World War II aircraft ever assembled will fly above the skies of Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 8, 2015, the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, as part of the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover.
The flyover will include dozens of World War II aircraft flying in 15 historically sequenced warbird formations overhead. The formations will represent the War’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, and concluding with a missing man formation to “Taps.”
Never before has such a collection of WWII aircraft been assembled at one location, to honor the large assemblage of veterans gathered at the WWII Memorial for a ceremony.
“They have given their sons to the military services. They have stoked the furnaces and hurried the factory wheels.
They have made the planes and welded the tanks, riveted the ships and rolled the shells.”
– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, August 19, 1942
The non-profit group Arsenal for Democracy organized the 56-plane flyover, which included P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang fighters and the only B-29 Superfortress bomber still in flying condition.
‘This is a slice of history that most people have never seen,’ said Brent Gulick, 60, from Rockville, Maryland. ‘You just saw planes that probably won’t be around much longer.
The event marked the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945. The United States produced almost 300,000 aircraft from 1941 to 1945, according to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
A handful of veterans on Friday flew in the same model planes they flew in during World War Two
‘It was nice, really nice. Brings back old memories,’ said Bill Hess, 91, from Bristol, Tennessee.
Roughly 700 veterans, dignitaries and donors watched the show from inside the World War Two Memorial, where a speaker narrated the event.
One of the planes, a Curtiss Helldiver dive bomber, developed mechanical trouble and made an emergency landing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, a spokeswoman for the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority said.
There were no injuries, she said. Reagan airport was closed to commercial traffic from noon to 1 p.m. to accommodate the flyover.
Practice Flights and Flyover ( Photos by RIchard Mallory Allnut and Tony Granata)
World War II Memorial, ( Photos by Steve Schapiro)
Gala click ( Photos by Keeley Peters)
Aerial video clips provided by NY on Air, – Visit www.nyonair.com