Flyover by P-51 Mustang fighters to mark D-Day anniversary Friday

  • Sun Jun 1st, 2014 7:50pm
  • News

Herald staff

MUKILTEO — A formation of World War II-era U.S. fighter planes will roar above much of Western Washington on Friday, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The flight of four P-51 Mustangs is being organized by the Mukilteo-based Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field, where the aircraft will take off at 9 a.m. The planes will be over downtown Seattle around noon and return to Paine Field by 3 p.m. Along the way, the airplanes will fly over more than 30 cities and towns from Olympia to Bellingham.

In the lead will be a P-51B from the museum’s collection. The airplane, dubbed “Impatient Virgin,” flew four sorties as part of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France. During its wartime service from 1944 through 1945, the airplane racked up more than 700 hours in the air with the U.S. Army Air Forces 376th Fighter Squadron, which was based in England.

The plane crashed into a farmer’s field during a training flight in 1945. The wreckage was all but forgotten until 2002, when archaeologists began excavating it, a process that took three years. The restored plane is today part of the Historic Flight Foundation’s collection.