Thursday, October 31, 2013

Planning Underway for Spirit of '45! Flyover

Planning is underway for a national flyover in the summer of 2015 that will be held in honor of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. AFA is a proud partner in this planning effort, and we look forward to participating in the celebration of our heritage. The official countdown to the event will begin with a press conference on December 20, 2013 at Chennault Aviation & Military Museum in Monroe, La.

For more information on the Spirit of '45! event, please refer to this message to supporters from Jerry Yellin, a pilot during WWII and national spokesman for the cause:

I am writing to invite you and your colleagues to participate in a national flyover to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II that is being planned for the summer of 2015. 
The purpose of the flyover is to remind America of the pivotal role that air-power played in defending democracy and freedom in the world during the most destructive war in history, and to inspire the public to assure that the Warbird’s of WWII continue to be a source of education and inspiration for future generations, especially the youth of our country.

The flyover is scheduled to take place on the weekend of August 15 - 16, 2015, coinciding with the day the world broke into spontaneous celebrations at the news WWII had ended on August 14, 1945, and America began an unprecedented effort to build a better world for its children and their children's children. We are asking every owner to fly locally and show the public some of the airplanes that helped so much to win the war.

I am honored to have been asked by Gen. Chennault's granddaughter, Nell Calloway, to be part of a steering committee that is reaching out to organizations and individuals like you who are dedicated to keeping our WWII Warbirds "alive,” to invite you to help finalize the details for the flyover, and to help spread the word to others who may have a potential interest in participating. Among those who recently joined the committee are Bill Fisher, Executive director of Warbirds at EAA, acclaimed aerial photographer Paul Bowen, military historian and author Robert F. Dorr, Craig McKinley, president of the Air Force Association, and WWII P-51 pilot Jerry Yellin who flew on the last mission over Japan on August 14, 1945.

On December 20, 2013 members of the steering committee will officially begin the countdown to the 2015 flyover during a press conference at the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum in Chennault's hometown of Monroe, LA, a few miles from Selman Army Airfield where more than 14,000 navigators were trained during WWII.

We warmly encourage you to send a representative to be part of this kick off ceremony and, if possible consider having one of your aircraft fly in for the day. For more information or to RSVP please contact Michelle Lancaster with the Chennault Museum. Michelle can be reached by phone at (318) 366-5733 or by email at   

In the meantime, thank you for all that you and your team have done to preserve the legacy of American Airpower in WWII and for helping to keep these national treasures airborne.

Let's keep 'em flying into the next century! 

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