The Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona will conduct a historic warbird flyover of the Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale metro area the morning of May 8 to salute the enduring spirit of Arizonans weathering the storms of COVID 19 and to also commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (the end of World War II).
This was another time period in our history when Arizonans stepped up with strength and resilience.
The formation of three large aircraft will launch from their base located at Falcon Field in Mesa at approximately 9 a.m. to form-up, then head west over central Mesa, to Tempe, Phoenix and the West Valley, then north of Phoenix to Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Gold Canyon, then back to base. The historic aircraft planned in the flight include: a B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell Bomber and C-47 Skytrain — all of which flew service in World War II and have strong wartime connections to Arizona.
A flight path map with a general outline of expected times will be finalized and published soon. The public is invited to view the flyover from the ground while observing current safety precautions and are welcome to post photos on social media (@ArizonaCommemorativeAirForceMuseum or @AZCAF).
During World War II, nearly all servicemen and women destined to be assigned to fly these type aircraft received ‘multi-engine training’ at places such as the old Williams Field (now Williams Gateway) and may have received their ‘advanced training’ in single-engine aircraft at Luke Field (now Luke Air Force Base). Our home base today is historic Falcon Field in Mesa, which was opened in 1941 to train British aviators who went on to fly combat in Europe.
If conditions concerning COVID 19 continue to improve, some of these same aircraft may also appear in the National Arsenal of Democracy flyover in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25, 2020 — representing the great state of Arizona.
Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona has operated from Mesa, Ariz., for more than 40 years and has become a top unit in the Commemorative Air Force organization of more than 80 units worldwide. Our museum, national tour program and living history flight program educate young and old about the sacrifices and service of ordinary Americans who stepped up to defend Democracy.
Our mission is to educate, inspire, and honor — and we look forward to making a great, patriotic roar in the sky for the enjoyment of Arizonans on May 8.
For more information, visit www.azcaf.org.