US Navy amphibious assault ship sails into Hawaii with flight deck loaded up with World War II warbirds

  • The US Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex sailed into Pearl Harbor this week carrying 14 vintage World War II aircraft.
  • The collection of privately owned aircraft included a P-51 Mustang fighter, B-25 Mitchell bomber, and Texan trainer, among other planes.
  • The aircraft are expected to participate in three aerial parades celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, which officially ended with Japan's formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.
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A US Navy amphibious assault ship sailed into Hawaii this week carrying an unusual collection of aircraft — vintage World War II planes rather than the usual helicopters and F-35 stealth fighters.

Fourteen vintage World War II planes were loaded onto the US Navy amphibious assault ship at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego in late July.

The vintage military aircraft, known as "warbirds," are expected to take part in a ceremony celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.

This week, the Essex, a Wasp-class vessel, sailed into Pearl Harbor, a Hawaii military base that suffered a surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941, finally pulling America into the war.

The US and its allies declared victory over Imperial Japan on August 14, 1945; however, the formal surrender did not come until September 2.

In addition to the aircraft pictured here, the collection of warbirds delivered to Hawaii includes an FM-2 Wildcat fighter, a Boeing-Stearman PT-17 biplane, and an F8F Bearcat fighter.

The planes will participate in three aerial parades on August 29, August 30, and September 2.

Veterans who watched Japan surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay in 1945 are expected to attend the commemoration event, the theme of which is "Salute Their Service, Honor Their Hope."


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