Eyes will be on the sky Monday as a flyover with 18 vintage-era aircraft wings its way “low and slow” across Southern California in a Memorial Day tribute.
“To salute all veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to honor frontline COVID-19 Worker heroes of today,” reads a social media post announcing the flight path.
The flyover will start at noon in Riverside before soaring across Temecula Valley on its way to Orange County, where the planes will pass over Irvine toward the coastline at Newport Beach before heading northbound. The planes will not fly over south Orange County cities.
The planes will fly over Huntington Beach to the Long Beach Airport, swooping down to the Queen Mary and up through the South Bay before reaching Los Angeles.
The salute was conceived by the Commemorative Air Force Inland Empire Wing Operations. “We came up with the idea after seeing the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels making the rounds,” operations manager Bill Prosser said last week.
“We’ll be up there for 70 to 90 minutes,” Prosser said. “We’ll have smoke trails. We’ll be low, slow and loud.”
Here’s a map of the flight path:
According to Prosser, the IE Wing’s Riverside-based “D-Day Doll,” a Douglas C-53D manufactured in 1943 to carry paratroopers and cargo in World War II, will lead the formation, which will also feature C-47 transports, P-40 Warhawks and P-51 Mustangs.
“On the D-Day Doll, we’ll be carrying a veteran from each war going back 80 years — a World War II vet, a Korean War vet, a Vietnam vet, an Afghanistan vet and an Iraqi Freedom vet,” Prosser said.
“We cannot forget our veterans who gave so much. Memorial Day is about remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Veterans Day is for all veterans. But Memorial Day is to honor all those who secured the freedoms we have today.”
The formation has 19 designated flyover locations, listed below, in order of the planned itinerary, with the operation starting about noon on May 25:
- Loma Linda University Medical Center
- Riverside National Cemetery
- St. Joseph Hospital, Tustin
- John Wayne International Airport
- Pacific View Memorial Park, Corona Del Mar
- Newport Beach
- Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital
- The Queen Mary
- USS Iowa Memorial
- Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes
- Zamperini Airport, Torrance
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Santa Monica Airport
- Los Angeles National Cemetery
- UCLA Medical Center
- USC Medical Center
- City of Hope Hospital
- Chino Municipal Airport
City News Service contributed to this report.
Source: Orange County Register