P-51 Mustangs to streak across Peninsula on Friday morning; observation spots planned in three cities
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A North American P-51D Mustang at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Air Force

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Four P-51 Mustang fighter planes from World War II will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day by flying over locations in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend on Friday morning.

The vintage fighters, sponsored by the Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo, are expected at these times and locations:

■   10:23 a.m. — City Pier, off Lincoln street and Railroad Avenue in Port Angeles.

■   10:30 a.m. — The James Center for the Performing Arts, 202 N. Blake Ave., Sequim.

■   10:34 a.m. — Pope Marine Park, located across from Port Townsend City Hall where Water and Madison streets cross.

Friday’s fly-over times are dependent upon air traffic control, said Jessica Leftwich of the foundation

She said the P-51s can also be followed on the Web via real-time GPS at http://historicflight.org/hf/d-day-gps-track/

The planes also will fly over Port Hadlock, Leftwich said, adding that two supporting groups, the East Jefferson Rotary Club and Port Townsend Rotary Club, agreed to use one viewing spot for the flyover in the Port Townsend area.

The planes fly about 230 mph, said Jerry Nichols, president of the Clallam County Pilots Organization.

He added that Federal Aviation Administration regulations say the planes can’t fly lower than 1,000 feet over populated areas.

They can fly as low as 300 feet over open water, Nichols said, adding that he doesn’t know what the pilots will do.

Celebration in Mukilteo

Friday’s flights are part of a celebration from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. marking the anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944, at the Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field, which straddles Mulkilteo and Everett.

The invasion at Normandy, France, the largest seaborne invasion in history, started the Allied movement into Nazi-occupied western Europe.

More than 10,000 Allied combat troops were casualties at Normandy, of which 2,500 died.

Several veterans of World War II are expected to be introduced after a lunch in their honor during Friday’s celebration at the museum at 10719 Bernie Webber Drive in Mukilteo.

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

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

Fast fighters

The P-51 Mustangs were fast, high-altitude fighters that protected bombers as they flew into enemy territory.

John Sessions of Historic Flight Foundation will lead Friday’s formation in P-51B “Impatient Virgin,” the same aircraft that flew four sorties over Normandy on D-Day.

Others will be flown by Greg Anders of Heritage Flight Museum in the P-51D “Val Halla”; Mark Peterson of Boise, Idaho, in P-51D “Hell-er Bust”; and Carter Teeters in P-51D “Upupa Epops” from the Flying Heritage Collection.

The formation will take off from the portion of Paine Field that is in Mukilteo at 9 a.m. and 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.

At noon, the vintage planes are expected to fly over Lake Forest Park, Woodinville, Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, New Castle, Kent, Federal Way, McChord Air Force Base, Gray Army Airfield, DuPont, Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, Gig Harbor, Vashon Island, Belfair, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo and Kingston before returning to Mukilteo by 3 p.m.

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

Last modified: June 03. 2014 8:22PM
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