P-51 Mustang flights on Peninsula to mark D-Day's 70th anniversary on Friday
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"The Bottisham Four," a famous photo showing four Army Air Force P-51 Mustang fighters from the 375th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, from RAF Bottisham, Cambridgeshire (UK), in flight on July 26, 1944.

Peninsula Daily News

Four P-51 Mustangs will fly over Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Sequim and Port Angeles to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day on Friday.

The flight of the World War II vintage fighter planes will kick off a celebration at the Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo, said Jessica Leftwich of the foundation.

The formation will take off from Paine Field in Mukilteo at 9 a.m. and also fly over Everett, Marysville, Stanwood, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Langley, Lynnwood and Edmonds before returning to Mukilteo by 11:30 a.m. to refuel for a flight over other cities.

The foundation and the Port Townsend Rotary Club are urging people to gather at Pope Marine Park in Port Townsend to witness the fly-over, which will be sometime between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., Leftwich said.

At noon Friday, the vintage planes are expected to fly over Seattle and other cities before returning to Paine Field in Mukilteo (part of the airport is also in Everett) by 3 p.m.

At the same time, a full day of activities from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday is planned at the Historic Flight Foundation at 10719 Bernie Webber Drive in Mukilteo for the D-Day anniversary

The number of Allied combat casualties on D-Day, June 6, 1944, tallied more than 10,000, of whom 2,500 died.

The invasion at Normandy, France, was the largest seaborne invasion in history. It started the Allied movement into German-occupied Western Europe.

Honor veterans

Several surviving veterans of World War II are expected to attend. Each will be introduced following a lunch in their honor.

Seven camps of living historians dressed in D-Day uniforms and using period tents, tanks, jeeps and equipment will be lined along “Company Street.”

Army Rangers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will arrive in Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters at 8 a.m.

During World War II, fast, high-altitude P-51 Mustangs escorted bombers deep into enemy territory.

Allied bomber crews nicknamed the fighter their “little friend,” Leftwich said.

On Friday, Greg Anders of the Heritage Flight Museum will fly P-51D “Val Halla,” while Mark Peterson will visit from Boise, Idaho, to join up in P-51D “Hell-er Bust.”

Carter Teeters will fly P-51D “Upupa Epops” from Flying Heritage Collection, and John Sessions of the Historic Flight Foundation will lead in P-51B “Impatient Virgin,” the same aircraft that flew four sorties over Normandy on June 6, 1944.

For more information, visit www.historicflight.org/hf or contact Leftwich at jessica@historicflight.org or 425-348-3200.

Last modified: May 31. 2014 8:38PM
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