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Dozens of WWII Aircraft to Fly Over Arlington, D.C. Today

by Ethan Rothstein May 8, 2015 at 10:00 am 4,345 0

The North American B-25 Mitchell (photo via Arsenal of Democracy)Today is the 70th anniversary of the German army’s surrender to Allied forces in World War II, and to commemorate the occasion, there will be massive formations of war-era planes flying over the Potomac River.

At 12:10 p.m., dozens of planes of different models that were used during World War II will pass over the Lincoln Memorial, then fly over Independence Avenue before turning back up the Potomac River and leaving the area.

The planes — which have come to the area from all over the country — take off from airports in Culpeper and Manassas, Va., join together outside Leesburg and fly almost 50 miles toward D.C. While they’re flying, they will make formations from signature moments of the War, including the Doolittle Raid, Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.

The planes were brought together by a nonprofit called the Arsenal of Democracy, backed by the Commemorative Air Force. Among the different models flying will be the North American B-25 Mitchell (pictured), P-40 Warhawk, P-63 Kingcobra, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt.

Also included: the only B-29 Superfortress still flying, the same type of plane that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. Overall, the flyover organizers said more than two dozen different types of planes will participate.

“Never before has such a collection of WWII aircraft been assembled at one location, to honor the large assemblage of veterans gathered at the WWII Memorial for a ceremony,” the flyover’s website reads.

The planes will be clearly visible from Arlington, so those hoping to see them arrive from the northwest should be outside, looking up, at just after noon. The flyover is expected to last about an hour, according to the Washington Post, during which time flights from DCA will be grounded.

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