The mission of Salute from the Shore is to salute and honor America’s Armed Forces on the Fourth of July. The sacrifices and commitment of the Armed Forces of America is legendary. What better to honor these valiant men and women than having a flyover in their honor?
This was my second year flying in the Salute. The salute flights begin with a briefing at the Myrtle Beach International Airport. The flights are organized based on aircraft speed. There are many different types of planes flying in the salute and the briefing is necessary to maintain a safe and orderly flight.
In 2014 Dean Wingard and I got to fly with a DC-3, Beech 18, AT-11 and an SNJ trainer. This odd formation made for some interesting photos. In 2015, F-16s from Shaw Air Force Base were going to fly as well.
This year’s flight was split with planes leaving from Myrtle Beach and other planes leaving from Mt. Pleasant.
Barry Avent has been instrumental in helping with the Salute from the shore. In 2014 he flew his DC-3 loaded with World War II veterans and had Wendall Hall fly his newly restored Corsair. Wendall and Barry spent the last several years restoring a project from New Zealand back to flying condition. This year Barry was flying his Corsair and Wendall was flying his newly acquired T-28.
We headed north and got single ship photos of Barry Avent in his Corsair, Wendall Hall in his T-28 and Rick Manti in his Provost Jet. Then all three planes lined up for a three-ship photo.
Right on cue we turned the flight south and the Corsair, T-28 and Provost Jet flew after the F-16s from Shaw Air force base and journeyed down the coast. Jim Zazas and Ron Malec joined up with us in an SNJ and Mike and Preston Allen flew their AT-11 in our formation down the coast.
Charlie Sidenstricker led the group out of Mt. Pleasant. Charlie and Tripp Smith both flew Globe Swift aircraft. Matt Lundeen flew his RV-8 and Lee Logan flew a Harmon Rocket. Cecil McCloud in a C-195, Joe Bustos and Peter Burrous flew Beech Bonanzas. Chauncey Clark in his Mooney, Pat Waters in his Varga and Hal Ewing in his Beech C-45 rounded out the Mt. Pleasant flight.
The beaches were loaded with people. American flags were in abundance. Vintage aircraft completed a fitting tribute to the brave men and women that served in America’s armed forces. It was an excellent to celebrate America’s birthday. Nearly three million people got to witness the flyover for the fourth. There were many people from Canada in the crowds so we are not sure if the three million number is accurate. (We had to convert from metric) It was a beautiful day for celebration and for aviation. Special thanks to all the volunteers that make Salute from the Shore possible.