After making their journey from San Diego aboard the USS Essex, 14 vintage World War II warplanes arrived on Tuesday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam—two weeks before they will once again take to the sky to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-J Day.
Cranes could be seen lifting the iconic aircraft from the amphibious assault ship, as crews gently placed the restored warbirds into to their temporary homes. Among the 14 offloaded was a B-25 Mitchell bomber, famed for its use in the Doolittle Raid; a Grumman FM2 Wildcat, the U.S. Navy’s tough front-line fighter in battles such as Guadalcanal, the Coral Sea, Midway, and the Solomon Islands; and a P-51 Mustang, known for its speed and service as a long-range bomber escort.
Two flyovers are scheduled for August 29 and 30, three days prior to the 75th anniversary of the Japanese officially surrendering in Tokyo Bay. On September 2, 14 veterans who witnessed the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri are set to attend the commemoration, called “Salute Their Service, Honor Their Hope,” reports Stars and Stripes.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the visiting veterans and their families will be kept in separate “bubbles” for safety but will be among the few attending the ceremony aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial. And while most of the of the events originally planned to mark the end of World War II have had to be scuttled, the commemoration will be viewable via livestream.