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Local aviation duo headed to Historical V-J Day Commemoration

Short Flights

Our friends Dustin Mosher and Diane Barney own a 1942 Stearman "Felix," and it was chosen to be part of an historical commemoration – the Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade in Hawaii on Sept. 2 over the battleship Missouri in Honolulu!

Victory over Japan Day is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made – Aug. 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, Aug. 14, 1945 – as well as to Sept. 2, 1945, when the surrender document was signed, officially ending World War II. The Secretary of Defense (SecDef) authorized the transport of up to 24 World War II warbirds to Hawaii to participate in the planned 75th WWII Commemoration flyover the Battleship Missouri – an historic occasion with tens of thousands watching in person and millions virtually.

Dustin lives in Tehachapi and Diane lives in Mojave. Both are Aerospace Engineers at Mojave Air & Spaceport. Dustin works at The Spaceship Company and Diane works on the X-57 Maxwell, all-electric aircraft, for NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center.

They departed Tehachapi Airport on July 26 for Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, San Diego. After landing at North Island, the Stearman was towed from the flight line down Stockdale Road to the USS Essex (LHD-2), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Dustin and Diane’s Stearman was lifted by crane onto the deck of the ship.

Other aircraft onboard include: a North American T-6; Grumman TBM; North American P-51; Grumman Bearcat F8F-2; two Consolidated PBYs; one really rare flying Grumman F4F Wildcat; North American T-28 Trojan and a North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber, along with other World War II aircraft.

Diane took some photos of the on-load of aircraft and posted them online. The Essex left port on Aug. 3 on her way to Honolulu. Our Navy League friend, Ted Gallinet, posted some outstanding photos as the ship got underway.

According to the 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII website, they are mandated to achieve the following goals:

1. To thank and honor veterans of World War II, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

2. To educate the public about the history of World War II and highlight the service of the Armed Forces during World War II and then contributions of federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with or in support of the Armed Forces.

3. To pay tribute to the contribution made on the home front by the people of the United States during World War II.

4. To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the Allies.

5. To remember the Holocaust.

We are so excited for Dustin and Diane and are proud that they will be representing Tehachapi, Mojave and all of Kern County during this significant and historical anniversary. What a fantastic salute to our World War II veterans – our Greatest Generation!

Wish I could be there to see the aerial parade! Diane promised to send photos, so I will be sharing them with you.

See you on our next flight!