"Pearl Harbor" Movie Plane to Drop Memorial Day Carnations

Palm Springs Air Museum pays tribute to veterans with 15th annual event



Three thousand red and white carnations will descend from a Mitchell B-25 Bomber at 1 p.m. May 27 to honor military veterans at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Palm Springs Air Museum

In a tribute to Jimmy Doolittle upon his death in 1993, a single B-25 Bomber performed a flyover of Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

The gesture was symbolic of the air raid Doolittle led on Japan in 1942, just a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when 16 Mitchell B-25 Bombers scored a moral victory by hitting targets in Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya.

Doolittle received the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the mission demonstrated Japan’s vulnerability to defend its homeland.

The air raid was acted out in the 2001 movie, Pearl Harbor, with Alec Baldwin playing Doolittle.

One of the B-25 Bombers used to recreate the movie's air raid will fly over the Palm Springs Air Museum at 1 p.m. May 27 and release 3,000 red and white carnations for the 15th consecutive year.

The dramatic shower of flowers began under the late Bob Pond, one of the air museum’s founders in 1996 and first chairman of the board.

“I’m not sure where the idea came from,” said Phil Hixon, a longtime friend of Pond’s and chairman emeritus of the air museum. “To my knowledge, it came from or through Bob. He was very patriotic.”

Hix said he and Pond met as fellow airplane enthusiasts with hangers across from one another. Together with other like-minded veterans, they answered the question, 'How about an air museum in Palm Springs?" Pond donated many of the planes now housed in the museum and Hixon said the collection continues to be updated including the latest additions, an F-4 Phantom used in Viet Nam and a T33 Shooting Star Jet-Powered Trainer Aircraft that can still travel 500 mph.

Hixon said though the Memorial Day event is filled with several other activities, including flight exhibitions starting at 10 a.m., music, food vendors, face painting and a Beer Garden, the tarmac grows silent for the carnation dropping.

“This event has really grown a lot,” Hixon said. “It’s very touching. While there are fun things when we’re not dropping the flowers, when we do, the crowd is hushed and the appreciation for veterans is there. Many people can take a carnation home."

The white carnations honor veterans from World War I, World War II, Korea and Viet Nam. The red carnations pay tribute to veterans of the Persian Gulf, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Admission ranges from $8-$15 per person, which includes regular admission to the museum and the day’s events. For information, call (760) 778-6262 or visit www.palmspringsairmuseum.org

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Hit Man: Singer-Songwriter Steve Poltz Plays by His Own Rules

From greeting Elvis at the Palm Springs Airport to taking Communion with Bob Hope to co-penning Jewel’s biggest hit single, Steve Poltz is a musician of many stories.

Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade Rolls to 50th Annual

Fifty years of Palm Desert Golf Cart parades will be celebrated Oct. 26 when the annual event treks down El Paseo.

Dan Schawbel: Uniqueness Will Attract Millennials to Area

Dan Schawbel will share his expertise on millennial employees and customers in today’s marketplace at the 2014 Coachella Annual Economic Summit on Oct. 30 in Palm Desert.

Weekend Getaways: Terranea Resort Lives Up to Buzz

Desert residents seeking an idyllic, oceanfront escape need look no further than Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Art in the Open

Infusing character and paying homage to the community’s dedication to creativity, sculptural gardens play a major role in the desert outdoor experience. Here, we highlight three unique spaces that shine under our resplendent sunny skies.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.