D-Day’s 70th anniversary: Flyover plan; veteran’s perspective

June 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(1944 photo of four P-51 Mustangs in flight – not the same ones you might see tomorrow, but similar)
Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the end of World War II. Two local notes: First, thanks to Bob for noticing and pointing out a special airborne tribute that you might see in the sky over West Seattle (and/or elsewhere) tomorrow. From the Historic Flight Foundation, which is based at Paine Field in Snohomish County:

To mark this important day, HFF has organized a very rare formation of P-51 Mustangs to visit cities and towns throughout Western Washington on June 6th, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Led by HFF’s D-Day veteran (four sorties over the beaches of Normandy), P-51B “Impatient Virgin,” the formation will launch from HFF at 9 a.m. and conclude operations at approximately 3 p.m. with a noon-hour tour of downtown Seattle. Special visits include Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Gray Army Airfield. Operations will extend as far north as Bellingham, as far south as Olympia.

Our friends at Lynnwood Today have schedule details.

For more on D-Day – a West Seattle veteran tells some of the context, perspective, and backstory in a video published on the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s website.

ADDED 9:19 PM: From the HFF website, as pointed out in comments, the expected viewing times/places tomorrow – the afternoon route is the one closest to us, in spots:

Paine Field 11:50
Lake Forest Park 11:56
Seattle Waterfront 12:00
Seattle 12:05
Boeing Field 12:15
Newcastle 12:20
Bellevue 12:23
Woodinville 12:30
Issaquah 12:40
McChord 12:50
Gray AAF 13:00
DuPont 13:05
Lacey 13:10
Olympia 13:15
Tumwater 13:18
Tacoma Narrows 13:22
Tacoma 13:25
Gig Harbor 13:32
Vashon Island 13:37
Belfair 13:40
Bainbridge Island 13:44
Poulsbo 13:50
Kingston 13:55
Paine Field 14:10

Also in the comment section, there was word of a possible sighting today. The Times, in fact, has photos from a practice, including the one in this tweet:

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12 Comments

  1. I believe they plan on circling downtown

    Comment by clark5080 — 12:54 pm June 5, 2014 #

  2. That is a hella picture and a great plane.

    Comment by justadumbguy — 2:43 pm June 5, 2014 #

  3. Are they going to circle the city or just fly through? Pretty rare to not see a ‘D’ variant with the bubble canopy that’s so common.

    Comment by Civik — 2:46 pm June 5, 2014 #

  4. It actually sounds like they are going to fly thru on their way to Bellevue. pic’s of Impatient Virgin are located here in my gallery
    http://www.photosbyjimclark.com/Airplanes/Air-Museums/Flying-Heritage-and-Historic/

    Comment by clark5080 — 3:03 pm June 5, 2014 #

  5. Shoulda known that we’d find out why those planes were flying around (while we were in downtown Seattle) when we couldn’t easily find information to explain it almost anywhere else. We’re such a connected community, and you ROCK WSB!

    Comment by YouRock — 3:34 pm June 5, 2014 #

  6. YouRock we are talking about tomorrow were there planes today also?

    Comment by clark5080 — 4:36 pm June 5, 2014 #

  7. Give me a P-47…My Father said that he’d seen P-47 Thunderbolts returning from missions with multiple machine gun and cannon holes limp across the English Channel and that if he was in the seat, he’d be in a P-47. And oddly enough, a special variant of a P-47 with an inline engine was the fastest propeller-driven fighter plane during the war. But P-51′s are cooler and in 6th grade I could draw a mean one.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:33 pm June 5, 2014 #

  8. Clark5080 – yes, there were 4 of these planes flying over Lake Union around 1:30p today and my colleagues and I couldn’t find out who they were or why they were flying around until we checked WSB.

    Comment by YouRock — 6:37 pm June 5, 2014 #

  9. For a detailed look at their flight route, click on the “From the Historic Flight Foundation” link in the above WSB notes or
    http://historicflight.org/hf/news-events/flight-operations/

    Comment by thugbee — 9:00 pm June 5, 2014 #

  10. Thanks, Thugbee. I swear I looked at that page earlier and didn’t see the time-specific list that’s there now. But I’m adding it to the story and we’ll remind folks in the morning preview tomorrow. Since they’re flying over Vashon as well as downtown, we will certainly see them from somewhere in West Seattle at some point! – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:17 pm June 5, 2014 #

  11. This straight from the Historic flight Web page

    They will be in Seattle at 12:05 and also at Boeing Field at 12:15

    Comment by clark5080 — 10:17 pm June 5, 2014 #

  12. I think I know the guy in the rear seat of the Val-Halla!

    Comment by Diane Dietsch — 11:40 am June 6, 2014 #

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