US Navy Ship Carries 14 Vintage WWII Planes to Hawaii

All aboard the USS Essex, these warbirds aren't able to fly from the US mainland to Hawaii on their own.
Fabienne Lang
B-25 Bomber, one of the vintage plane models aboard the USS Essexdavidgsteadman/Flickr

One U.S. Navy ship will be carrying a different type of cargo this month. Setting off from San Diego and making its way across the Pacific to Pearl Harbor in Hawai'i, the USS Essex will be transporting over a dozen vintage warplanes to the island. 

The planes are being shipped across in time for their flyover to mark the U.S. victory over Japan during World War II (WWII), as per Honolulu's Star Advertiser.


Another historical voyage

The USS Essex typically carries slightly different, and more up-to-date, planes such as F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and MV-22B Ospreys tiltrotors. However, this month the U.S. navy ship will be carting 14 vintage warplanes instead. 

The mission is to bring these warbirds across the Pacific to Honolulu in time for their flyover above the Hawaiian islands to mark the commemoration of the WWII fight in the Pacific. 

US Navy Ship Carries 14 Vintage WWII Planes to Hawaii
FM-2 Wildcat, Source: Felix c/Wikimedia Commons

There will be a mixture of bombers, fighters, and trainers on the flyover, which will include "five AT-6/SNJ advanced trainers, two PBY Catalina flying boats, the B-25 bomber, an FM-2 Wildcat, an F8F Bearcat, a P-51 Mustang, a Stearman biplane, a TBM Avenger and a T-28 Trojan," as per the Honolulu Star Advertiser

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The flyover is to take place between August 29 and September 2, which was when Japan signed a peace treaty in Tokyo Bay during WWII

These warplanes are a sight for sore eyes, as is the USS Essex. The Essex is an 844-feet (257 meters) -long navy ship, kitted out with a helicopter landing dock. It encompasses a full-length flight deck, an island to watch over flight operations, elevators, and a large hanger.

The entire undertaking is impressive. 

To ensure absolute safety, pilots, maintainers, and ground crew all complied with a two week quarantine in a naval base in San Diego before boarding the ship.

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