On the morning of December 7th, 2001, the San Diego Aerospace Museum will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with a flyover of World War II-era aircraft over Balboa Park. Conditions permitting, the aircraft will approach from the Northeast and fly directly over the Museum building at 9:55 a.m., the exact time (PST) that the attack began in Hawaii (7:55 a.m.).
After passing over the Museum, the pilots will land at Montgomery Field in Kearney Mesa near the Casa Machado Restaurant. The public is invited to attend the event in Balboa Park, and greet the pilots at Montgomery Field.
The flyover will be preceded by a brief ceremony in front of the Museum at 9:30 a.m., featuring dignitaries, Pearl Harbor survivors and other WWII veterans.
Aircraft scheduled for the flyover are a Curtiss P-40 "Warhawk," a North American B-25 "Mitchell," and 3 or more North American T-6 "Texans."
An original Mitsubishi A6M Zero, which due to its rarity will not take part in the flyover, will be on display at Montgomery Field with the rest of the aircraft. It is the only flyable Zero in the world with its original engine and will depart Montgomery Field when they leave San Diego later in the afternoon. The Zero was the only Japanese fighter used during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
At the time of the attack, there were approximately 100 P-40s based in the Hawaiian Islands. First flown in 1938, the P-40 was the first mass-produced WWII fighter available in large numbers at the time of the attack.
The B-25 first flew in 1940 and is most famous for the Doolittle bombing raid on the Japanese homeland only months after Pearl Harbor. Nearly 11,000 Mitchells were produced, and it proved to be one of the most outstanding medium bombers of World War II.
The T-6 "Texan" was the most widely used advanced trainer in WWII. Over 20,000 were produced.
With the exception of the T-6s, which are privately owned by individuals, the vintage aircraft in the flyover are owned and operated by the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA.
Following the aerial salute, the public is invited to view special exhibits set-up in the Museum especially produced to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. In addition, a special presentation of the nationally acclaimed 1970 movie, "Tora, Tora, Tora," will be shown in the Museum's Education Center beginning at 1:00 p.m., at no extra charge.
The admission fee for December 7th only will be lowered to 60 cents for visitors of all ages. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park. Parking will be limited inside the Park due to the expected crowds for this event, and Christmas on the Prado. For further information about the December 7th events, please call (619) 234-8291, extension 14 or log onto the Museum's web site at www.aerospacemuseum.org.