"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:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Big Wheel Tours Brings Desert Wonders Closer

For Evan Trubee, a lifelong passion in cycling evolved into a 20 year business venture in outdoor-guided tours called Big Wheel Tours in Palm Desert.

'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy Earns Sonny Bono Visionary Award

'Spotlight' director Tom McCarthy willl receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival's annual Awards Gala on Jan. 2.

Bright Lights Little City

The McCallum Theatre continues to showcase a diverse lineup of theater, jazz, comedy, music, and dance ensembles from all over the world.

Single Track Minds

Two local cycling experts share their takes on the best bike routes 
the Coachella Valley has to offer.

All That Glitters!

For decades, Michael Holmes has toured the globe as a cabaret singer and celebrity impersonator, sharing the stage with such stars as Sam Harris, Sting, and Elton John.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

McCallum Theatre Broadway Blockbusters Experience!

McCallum Theatre Broadway Blockbusters Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the four 2015-2016 Broadway Blockbusters Series shows.
Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couples getaway
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags