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Veterans Day Festivities Planned at Santa Barbara Airport

This Veterans Day weekend, the Santa Barbara Airport will be a great place to see 15 vintage World War II aircraft take off to participate in the scheduled festivities, sponsored by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Museum.

At 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, keep your eyes skyward as these aircraft fly over the Page Youth Center for the start of the Veterans Day Marathon. These planes will then fly over Leadbetter Beach at 9:30 a.m., just as the marathon runners approach “Veterans Mile” near the finish line.

At 12:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, the World War II planes will be airborne in classic military formation during the Veterans Day Parade.

A great place to watch these aircraft takeoff and land is the airport’s World War II Memorial at 500 James Fowler Road, near the entrance to the Airline Terminal’s Long Term Parking lot. This granite memorial honors local aviators who gave their lives in service during World War II, along with the men and women who served at the Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara during the war. It bears both the names of local aviators who perished during the war as well as the Marine squadrons who trained at SBA.

The airport’s Corsair Memorial is located on the north side of the airfield at 601 Norman Firestone Road, next to the Airport Administration building. This memorial is an actual WWII Corsair propeller with a plaque that states, “This Airport is dedicated to the memory of the pilots and air crews of the United States Marine Corps trained at this station who gave their lives to the country. Semper Fidelis. May 5, 1948.”

SBA is a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City Santa Barbara and serves over 700,000 passengers annually.

— Hazel Johns is director of the Santa Barbara Airport.


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