D-Day Squadron Participates in VJ Day 75th Commemorative Flyover

The D-Day Squadron gathered US-based C-47s to fly to Europe in 2019 to take part in the Daks Over Normandy celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. The effort will be repeated again in few weeks. (photo by Tom Demerly via D-Day Squadron)

This Wednesday, September 2, the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) Inland Empire Wing, will conduct a flight over several important historic landmarks which played a major role in World War II. This event will commemorate 75 years since Imperial Japan signed the surrender document aboard the USS Missouri, officially ending World War II.

The Victory Flight hopes to bring honor to the veterans of World War II, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice, and to thank and honor the families of these veterans and pay tribute to the contribution made on the home front by the people of Southern California during World War II. The flight will go over many of these important landmarks such as the aircraft manufacturing facilities in Santa Monica, the Santa Ana Naval Air Station, and Marine Air Corps station in El Toro. The Pacific Battleship Center: Battleship Iowa is another landmark the flight will flyover in conjunction with a live streaming event in collaboration with Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor. “This is a very big year,” said Bill Prosser, IEW Business Officer.  “This is truly one of the last opportunities to pay a tribute to those who contributed to the war in person. And sadly, due to the pandemic, we are trying to find very creative ways to do that. If we do not do it now, we will be missing a tremendous opportunity to educate the public about World War II and why it is such a significant part of our history.”

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Douglas C-53 Skytrooper 42-68830, better known today as “D-Day Doll” flew during the Normandy Invasion in June, 1944. (photo by Don Graham via Wikipedia)

The 90-minute flyover begins at 12:00 p.m. PT at Torrance Airport, also known as Zamperini Field, and will go over several landmarks to hit the target flying over the USS Iowa at about 12:30pm.  Fourteen World War II era aircraft are slated to participate. Five C-47s are among those who returned to Normandy in June 2019 as the D-Day Squadron. Aboard some of the aircraft will be veterans, Rosie the Riveters, and Holocaust survivors.

Points along the flyover Route include:

  • Torrance airport (Zamperini Field)
  • Long Beach
  • Los Alamitos
  • Santa Ana Naval Air Station (Blimp Hangars) (Tustin)
  • Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
  • National WWII Submarine Memorial-West
  • Queen Mary
  • USS Iowa
  • Torrance airport (Zamperini Field)
  • Airports and Manufacturing facilities Santa Monica
  • Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance (Holocaust Museum)
  • Brackett Airfield
  • Ontario Army Airfield
  • Chino Cal Aero Airfield

The following aircraft have agreed to participate, but due to factors such as weather or mechanical issues, participating aircraft and schedules are subject to change without notice:

  • D-Day Doll C-53
  • Flabob Express C-47
  • Virginia Ann C-47
  • Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber C-47
  • Spirit of Benovia C-47
  • Aero Trader B-25
  • Lyon’s Museum C-47
  • Multiple World War II T-6 and PT-22 WWII trainers

Those across Southern California are invited to participate by heading outside and looking up from 12:00-1:30 p.m. PT. Share your photos with #AOD75 or follow the flight via FlightAware N45366. Follow the D-Day Squadron flyovers, events and other missions on Facebook, and Instagram. Subscribe to their YouTube Channel for the latest video productions. For more information about the Commemorative Air Force Inland Empire Squadron, visit www.inlandempirecaf.com

California WWII flyover

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