This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war that changed the United States forever. To honor the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces during World War 2 and to spotlight the essential role that aircraft played in U.S. victory, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association has led an effort to bring one of the largest privately owned collections of WW2 airplanes ever assembled to Washington, D.C. to fly over the National Mall on May 8, the 70th anniversary of VE day (the public holiday to mark the Allied victory in Europe). The “Arsenal of Democracy” aircraft will fly over the Mall in 14 formations, beginning at 12:10 p.m. The event will be webcast live here. As the media sponsor of the event, Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine has created recognition cards for viewing on a smartphone (at to help you identify the airplanes as they fly overhead. (Or download a PDF of the spotter cards here.) You can also find the histories of these airplanes here, presented in the order the formations will fly over the Mall.

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Where the Warbirds Come From

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Warplanes Over Washington

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A History of WW2 in 25 Airplanes

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Cockpit Tours

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Voices of the WW2 Veterans


The Day After D-Day


What the Movies Taught Us About World War II

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The Biggest Industrial Boom in U.S. History



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The War’s Oddest Dogfight


How to Be a Ball Turret Gunner

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