WW2 Flyover....


Phantom of the Opera
Mar 24, 2008
NE Florida
Rare 'war birds' fly over Washington
WASHINGTON -- It was a truly unusual sight as three vintage "war birds" flew over the U.S. Air Force Memorial near the Pentagon to help honor Americans lost in World War II during combat missions from airfields in England.

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. William Lyon, 85, pilots a rare B-17.
Vintage airplanes joined a Washington flyover to honor WWII fighters.

"With the flyover today, we're trying to bring the dynamism of the American Air Museum from its physical home in Britain to it's spiritual home here, in the United States," the museum's executive vice president, Richard Ashton, said Thursday.
"These heroes didn't go into combat once, but time and time again, in the full knowledge the odds were stacked against them safely coming home," Ashton told a group gathered for the ceremony at the base of the memorial.

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. William Lyon, 85, was at the controls of the rare B-17 that was part of the flyover. Boeing produced more than 12,000 B-17s, but today, fewer than 15 "Flying Fortresses" remain airworthy.

After precisely meeting the designated "time on target" for the flyover, Lyon flew the plane back to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and reflected on the day's mission.

"When you think back to the young men that flew these missions 25,000 feet over Germany and took this tremendous pasting of flak, and fighters shooting one end of the airplane to the other, you have to have some great historical admiration for the sacrifice they made," he said.

Lyon flew a B-17 during World War II, and has since become a collector and preservationist of old warplanes. As a director with the American Air Museum in Britain, he was invited to bring his B-17 from California to Washington to commemorate the group's 10th anniversary.

"The British and the Americans wanted to honor all of those airmen that were killed in the World War II effort, more than 30,000 -- it's an unbelievable number -- killed in the air," Lyon said.

Co-pilot Ray Dieckman has been flying vintage aircraft for more than 20 years, including in many air shows, but he said he was especially moved by the sight of the Air Force Memorial, which features three curved metallic arches soaring toward the sky, the tallest at 270 feet.

"It's way bigger than I thought it was going to be," he said, adding that as the plane approached, "There it was, staring at us, and the sun was gleaming off of it, and I'm sure it was a spectacular sight for the people on the ground."
The flyover also included a P-51 Mustang and a P-40 Kittyhawk. The crews of the three planes were granted a rare waiver of rules that severely restrict air traffic over Washington, and authorities provided a 10-minute hold on commercial airliner traffic at Reagan National Airport.

Some of you may know, that for decades now, and today even MORE so, it takes a act of GOD AND CONGRESS to get permission to fly over WASH DC.....you got the air corridor over the Potomac river for DCA/Reagan International, but that's IT.....all else is strictly military controlled, and they WILL shoot.....

a few years ago they came with a hair of doing just that to some small plane, and before THAT even some nitwit flew his plane into the WH....

shame really, as I remember flying over DC at night in a small Twin Bonanza this was '68 or so, and seeing the fires from the riots/burnings, but also the Federal Quadrangle all lit up....should go see it at NIGHT, used to be able to walk the streets years ago, WH, EOB, Capitol Hill, SCourt, but IF you go....do not miss....

ARLINGTON, and changing of the guard......

Back in 'Y2K when wife and I were dating, she said after a visit up there, that Arlington was the place she remembered the most....

distant relatives of mine are there....


Yes it is....funny how I recognize lots of that old electronic gear from daze gone by....been about 1/2 a century....

I did notice they only showed them flying over Andrews, and not the Federal buildings....I would suspect that's too much to allow for ANYONE....

I was hoping to see them over the Capitol, and maybe National Cathedral...something like that....