In a stunning spectacle at IWM Duxford’s VE Day Anniversary Air Show (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May) B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe and, incredibly, the aircraft’s own 70th birthday and its 40th anniversary on the air show circuit, with a poignant VE Day flying salute.
IWM Duxford’s VE Day Anniversary Air Show will be the only opportunity to see the VE Day salute led by B-17 Sally B and the first time in 21 years that Sally B has led a mass formation of aircraft. This moving spectacle will be presented in honour of the 70th anniversary of VE Day, Sally B’s own 70th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of the aircraft’s long association with IWM Duxford.
B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B will be accompanied by eight Second World War bomber and fighter aircraft in this special flying display: a Douglas C-47 Skytrain (operated by Aces High), Beechcraft Beech 18 (operated by T Darrah), Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (operated by Plane Sailing), North American P-51D Mustang (operated by the Old Flying Machine Company), North American TF-51D Mustang (operated by The Fighter Collection), North American P-51D Mustang (operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation), Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (operated by The Fighter Collection) and a Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk (operated by The Fighter Collection).
Although VE Day was celebrated on 8 May 1945 with a mixture of relief and weariness across Europe, for many the Second World War was not yet over. Japan continued to fight in the Pacific and many more lives were lost before finally the Allies could celebrate peace with Victory in Japan day. We honour the men and women who continued the fight in the East after Victory in Europe was won with displays which commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan.
The first display features The Fighter Collection’s Goodyear FG-1D Corsair , Grumman FM-2, Curtiss P-40F Warhawk and Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk. The second features the North American P-51D Mustang (operated by the Old Flying Machine Company), North American TF-51D Mustang (operated by The Fighter Collection) and a North American P-51D Mustang (operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation).
B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B is operated by Elly Sallingboe of B-17 Preservation, backed by a registered charity and supported by a team of professional volunteers, whose efforts go towards ensuring the aircraft’s survival in airworthy condition. This famous aircraft, the only flying B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe, is a favourite with air show fans and visitors to IWM Duxford. A flying memorial to all Allied airmen who lost their lives in the Second World War, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B has been based at IWM Duxford for an incredible 40 years. Its continued operation is particularly reliant on charitable donations.
“Keeping a huge B-17 flying for 40 years is an outstanding achievement for me and my team” says aircraft operator Elly Sallingboe. “We have reached this milestone without any official help. Enthusiasm, dedication and sheer determination have kept this vintage aircraft flying for four decades, helped along with charitable donations, sponsorship and the goodwill of all our friends including IWM Duxford”.*
The VE Day Anniversary Air Show (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May) pays tribute to the people who endured the Second World War.
Our flying display shows how the Second World War was won in the air. Accompanied by music, speeches and audio recordings of veterans’ memories, flying aircraft show Britain preparing for war, the vital victory in the Battle of Britain, the bombing campaign, flying with the armies and the navies and why Victory in Europe didn’t end the Second World War.
There’ll be a 1940s atmosphere throughout the historic heart of IWM Duxford with a VE Day street party, complete with wartime music and song.
Living history groups give a glimpse into life on the Second World War Home Front, including wartime weddings, the Home Guard, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces.
We are offering Second World War Armed Forces and Home Front civilian forces veterans complimentary entry to the VE Day Anniversary Air Show. This is available at the air show on the day.
Tickets for the VE Day Anniversary Air Show are available online at iwm.org.uk/duxford. Advance ticket sales close on Tuesday 12 May, after which tickets will be available on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May on the gate at the air show.
* For more information and to find out how you can support B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, visit www.sallyb.org.uk