WASHINGTON, D.C. — The second Arsenal of Democracy Flyover will take place May 8, 2020, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
As part of a two-day celebration in the nation’s capital, the flyover will coincide with a ceremony for veterans at the National World War II Memorial. A vast assortment of U.S. and Allied World War II aircraft will fly overhead in 24 separate historically sequenced warbird formations. The formations will represent the war’s major battles, from the Battle of Britain through the final air assault on Japan, and conclude with a missing man formation.
Nearly 100 vintage warbirds of various types are expected to participate. Aircraft are being provided by multiple organizations and individuals whose mission is to preserve these historic artifacts in flying condition.
These organizations include the largest vintage military aircraft organization — the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) — providing fighter, bomber and transport aircraft.
Historic aircraft expected to participate include the P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Airacobra, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, F4U Corsair, B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane, and many others.
On the day of the flyover, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission will dedicate the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial, which is being built directly across from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
The memorial will honor Dwight Eisenhower as the 34th president of the United States and as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in World War II.
Among the many combat veteran aircraft participating, a special formation of C-47 aircraft will fly over the new memorial, led by the C-47 ‘That’s All Brother,’ which was the actual transport to first drop paratroopers during the Normandy invasion.
In addition to the flyover, Arsenal of Democracy events will include a gala dinner on May 7, 2020, in historic Hangar 7 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The dinner, which will pay tribute to World War II veterans, will feature combat heroes sharing their stories.
“Just as in 2015, this flyover will be conducted for the sole purpose of honoring those who fought in the epic struggle and the men and women on the home front who created The Arsenal of Democracy,” said Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and a member of the Arsenal of Democracy planning committee. “We hope that by recognizing their sacrifices and achievements, all Americans, especially our younger generations, can reflect and be inspired by what can be achieved when a nation unites for a common and just purpose.”