We are busy prepping the PBJ for an expected 1330HRS departure today, September 3rd, from Camarillo for a flyover at 1400HRS over LA Fleet Week in San Pedro.
Come to the museum to see her take off and return to base, or just look up if you are in her flight path and you hear those sweet radial engines purr overhead.
We couldn’t be more proud of this warbird and its crew!
Here’s a report from Dan Newcomb along with a couple of images from the flyover:
This Labor day weekend ends the first L.A. Fleet Week ever. I found it hard to believe and somewhat sad that Los Angeles had never had a Fleet Week considering that before the war the Pacific Fleet battleships were home ported in Long Beach and that the navy had docks and other facilities in San Pedro for decades.
This flight was a sentimental journey for me. I grew up in this area and I worked at Douglas Aircraft just to the north. As we flew along the cliffs of Palos Verdes I remembered “Marine Land of the Pacific” now long gone and the derelict hulk of the ex-Liberty ship S.S. Dominator when it ran aground in ’61. When I was a kid the Navy was a big deal in the port. Destroyers, carriers, mine sweepers, and subs were based there. Just about every weekend there was a ship open for tours. Sailors were everywhere down town and at the Pike. The Long Beach Naval Shipyard was one of the biggest employers in the area. I even took my Private Pilot check ride over Long Beach Harbor 40 years ago.
We were due over the target at 1400hrs. Hohls was flying left seat and he blew it! He was 55 seconds early! With Fort MacArthur and Point Fermin off our left wing we turned north and headed up the main channel to over fly the battleship Iowa. Since the Navy left Long Beach in 1991 what used to be a home for the Pacific Fleet has been obliterated. The 17,000 employees and 38 ships based there at the time are history. The docks and piers and infrastructure is now one of the largest container ports in the world and the largest in North America. What used to be one of the biggest ships in the world, the battleship USS Iowa, is dwarfed by some of the container ships. As we made several passes over the harbor coming in low over the water, bomb bay open, I couldn’t help but think of the Doolittle Raid. I thought of this harbor during WWII and what was produced here for the war effort. My thoughts were of dedication and hard work and sacrifice made in a just cause. I reflected on how much has changed over all these years. How America has changed. After our multi-pass performance we turned south and headed out to sea like a phantom from that long gone epic moment in our nations past. A loud, blue, twin engine, attention getting flying reminder of a time when a nation stood together for the greater good. As we flew back to Camarillo I felt very satisfied and proud to have been able to take part in this special and long over due event. Flying low over the water along the beach at Malibu I saw…well that’s another story!
George Sands sent in these breath taking images from the rear gunner position aboard the PBJ during the overflight:
Thanks to PBJ crewman Russ Babbitt for sending in this video of the view from the nose of the PBJ during the flight over San Pedro: