To celebrate the 70th Victory in Europe Day, 56 World War II planes representing 19 aircraft types flew over the Mall in Washington, DC, in 15 flyover formations as part of the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover. The Washington Post has descriptions of each plane and vintage photographs. Politico has a slideshow from the flyover yesterday.
The planes included the Boeing Stearman PT-17/N2S, used to train more military pilots, including George H.W. Bush, than any other basic trainer of the time; the North American B-25 Mitchell, used by Col. Jimmy Doolittle in the Tokyo Raid in 1942; and the Lockheed P-38 Lightning twin-engine fighter, which the Germans called “the fork-tailed devil.”
Describing the flyover, Michael E. Ruane and Martin Weil of the Washington Post write, “The airplanes flew in from the northwest, fighters in tight formations, bombers alone or with one or two others, filling the hazy sky over Washington with the sound of a bygone war.
“It was an aged fleet, almost as old as the men in wheelchairs who watched from the ground as they passed—rugged machines with big piston engines that were built for war, then junked when it was over.”