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V-E Day Commemorated by Warbird Flyover

Today, on Victory in Europe, or V-E Day, beginning just after 12:00 PM, a massive flyover of 15 successive formations of World War II warbirds will pass over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The Arsenal of Democracy World War II Capitol Flyover will see one of the most diverse groups of rare vintage warbirds ever assembled fly over the nation’s capitol to honor those who fought the war and those who supported them on the homefront.


Planned route of the flyover.

Distinct formations of aircraft representing the war’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan and concluding with a missing man formation, will fly from Culpepper and Manassas Regional Airports. Their route will take them down the Potomac River, over Theodore Roosevelt Island, then turn east as they approach the Lincoln Memorial and fly over the National Mall before curving south again over the Anacostia River. The Arsenal of Democracy World War II Capitol Flyover website will also offer a live webcast of the event.

P-39, B-25s, P-40

From left, a Bell P-39, North American B-25 Mitchells, and a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fly in formation. Photo by Kogo via Wikimedia Commons

More than two-dozen different types of aircraft are expected to participate, including the P-40 Warhawk, P-38 Lightning, P-63 Kingcobra, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, F4U/FG-1D Corsair, B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress, C-47 Skytrain, and others. Among those organizations providing the aircraft are the Commemorative Air Force, Texas Flying Legends, the Fighter Factory, Flying Circus, HGR Museum, Fagen Fighters, the Southern Heritage Air Museum, and the Experimental Aircraft Association, as well as many individual owners.

The formations are planned to include, subject to weather and mechanical factors:

Trainer Formation

  • Boeing PT-17 Kaydet
  • T-6 Texans/SNJ
  • Beech AT-11
  • Assorted Other Trainer and Liaison Aircraft

Pearl Harbor

  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawks

 Doolittle Raid

  • North American B-25 Mitchell

 Guadalcanal Campaign

  • Grumman F4F Wildcats
  • Bell P-63 Kingcobra
  • Bell P-39 Airacobra

Battle of Midway

  • Douglas SBD Dauntless
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina
  • Grumman F4F/FM-2 Wildcat

Yamamoto Shootdown

  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Ploesti Raid

  • Consolidated B-24 Liberator
  • North American P-51 Mustang

Escorting the Bombers

  • North American P-51 Mustang

Big Week

  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress


  • Douglas C-47 Skytrain
  • Douglas C-53 Skytrooper
  • Martin B-26 Marauder
  • Douglas A-26 Invader

Marianas Turkey Shoot

  • Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger
  • Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat
  • Grumman F8F Bearcat

Battle of the Bulge

  • Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Douglas A-26 Invader

Iwo Jima

  • Chance Vought F4U Corsair
  • Chance Vought (Goodyear) FG-1D Corsair

Final Air Offensive

  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Missing Man Formation

  • TBM Avenger
  • Assorted Fighter Aircraft