B-25 and PBY on the USS Essex…in 2020

A series of three upcoming Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade around Oahu, part of the 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII that will culminate with the official ceremony aboard the museum ship USS Missouri (BB 63) on 2 September, will have more than a dozen vintage warbirds take part including a B-25 bomber, some T-6 Texans and a former Navy PBY Catalina flying boat. The rare aviation classics came from the mainland and arrived at Pearl Harbor via the “aircraft carrier” USS Essex on Monday.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago)

Of course, the Essex involved is LHD-2, the 5th U.S. Navy ship to carry the name, and calls back to the famous 4th, the WWII fleet carrier CV-9 which remained in service until 1969.

That beautiful B-25 being lifted from Essex’s deck. Too bad they didn’t try to fly it off– it’s been done before! (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago)

Of note, today’s Essex actually has a longer flight deck than 1942’s USS Hornet, which carried Doolittle’s B-25s on their famous “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” raid.

PEARL HARBOR (Aug. 10, 2020) North American T-6 Texans, part of a group known as the “Warbirds,” sit on the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after being offloaded from the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) for the 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jessica O. Blackwell)

Flyovers of the Warbirds will include: Around Oahu (Aug. 29), Connecting the Military Bases (Aug. 30), and over the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor to Waikiki (Sept. 2).

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