WASHINGTON — Historic warbirds and massive bombers will fill the skies over the nation’s capitol next week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The Arsenal of Democracy flyover will see waves of aircraft formations fly across Washington, D.C. on September 25. Separated by two minutes, each wave of aircraft will honor historic battles of the European and Pacific theaters of war.
The 75-minute flyover will then conclude with a missing man formation.
“Approximately 70 World War II aircraft will take to the sky in historically sequenced warbird formations,” Tony Vericella, Executive Director of the 75th WWII Commemoration Committee, said on Tuesday. “These formations will fly over the Washington Mall in two minute intervals.”
The aerial parade will fly south along the Potomac River before moving east over Independence Avenue and the National Mall. The first waves of airplanes will flyover the Lincoln Memorial beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT.
“The formations will represent the War’s major battles concluding with a missing man formation,” Vericella added.
During a radio broadcast in December 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on America to become ‘the great arsenal of democracy’. Roosevelt asked the nation to furnish Great Britain with aircraft and supplies as war spread across Europe.
The Commemorative Air Force, museums, and private individuals have donated the warbirds for the aerial parade. Aircraft will represent major scenes of the War from the Civil Air Patrol to D-Day, and Iwo Jima.
“We’re proud to serve as a principle organizer of the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover to help ensure we recognize and remember the enormous sacrifices of our nation’s heroes,” CAF president Hank Coates said.
Of the nearly 70 planes, these are just a few of those scheduled to fly:
Six B-25 Mitchell bombers, including “Panchito”, will fly in formation. Two B-29 Superfortress’s, *FIFI* and DOC, are also scheduled to fly.
Six C-47 Skytrain’s, the leaders of the Allies D-Day invasion to liberate France, are also due to fly. The C-47 That’s All Brother, who led the first wave of D-Day aircraft in 1944, is also schedule to fly.
Five Curtis P-40 Warhawks are scheduled to fly. The Army Air Force’s front line fighter was in the air during the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Four B-17 Flying Fortresses, including Aluminum Overcast, and nine P-51 Mustangs will also take part. The Army’s T-6 Texans, Navy’s SNJ-2s, and the British Harvard aircraft will be included in the warbird formations.
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)