A fly-over of Washington, D.C., by a diverse array of World War II aircraft is planned for May 8 in honor of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
The Arsenal of Democracy fly-over will follow a ceremony for veterans at the World War II National Memorial. The World War II aircraft will then fly overhead in historically sequenced warbird formations. The formations will represent the war’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, and conclude with a missing man formation to “Taps,” according to organizers.
The event will also be commemorated in a special May issue of Air & Space magazine dedicated to the airplanes and airmen who fought in World War II that will feature historic “spotter cards” of the aircraft. These cards can be used to identify the aircraft in the flyover and to learn more about the history of World War II.
Approximately two dozen different types of vintage military aircraft are expected to participate in the flyover. Aircraft are being provided by multiple organizations and individuals, including the Commemorative Air Force, which will provide fighter and bomber aircraft, including the only flying B-29 Superfortress FIFI.
Additionally, organizations such as Texas Flying Legends, Fighter Factory, and Fagen Fighters have far committed multiple aircraft, along with a number of individual owners, according to the organizers.
The historical aircraft expected to participate include the P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Aerocobra, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, FG-1D Corsair, B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, and many others.
In addition to the flyover, the Arsenal of Democracy events will include a dinner on Thursday, May 7, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The dinner will feature combat heroes sharing their stories of experiences in the European and Pacific theaters.