The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year (2021). For only the second time in U.S. history, the three North American jet teams — the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds — will perform together at one airshow. The Thunderbirds had been scheduled to appear in another airshow that was canceled, so they were added to the lineup this week.
The Blue Angels is a flight demonstration squadron of the United States Navy.
Formed in 1946, the unit is the second oldest formal aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the French Patrouille de France formed in 1931. The team, composed of five Navy and one Marine Corps demonstration pilot, fly Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets.
Rear Admiral Ralph Davison personally selected Lieutenant Commander Roy Marlin “Butch” Voris, a World War II fighter ace, to assemble and train a flight demonstration team, naming him Officer-in-Charge and Flight Leader. Voris selected three fellow instructors to join him (Lt. Maurice “Wick” Wickendoll, Lt. Mel Cassidy, and Lt. Cmdr. Lloyd Barnard, veterans of the War in the Pacific), and they spent countless hours developing the show. The group perfected its initial maneuvers in secret over the Florida Everglades so that, in Voris’ words, “if anything happened, just the alligators would know”. The first four pilots and those after them, were and are some of the best and most experienced aviators in the Navy.
After the end of the World War II the importance, the publicity and predominantly – the rating of US Navy became lower in the eyes of ordinary people who were used to read about the numerous victories of the Navy pilots.
Because of that the US Navy Secretary James Forestal and the chief of US Navy Operations Admiral Chester Nimitz make a decision to form the official US Navy aerobatic display team which will carry on the traditions of before-WWII aerobatic teams.
Blue Angels Live: 2021 Fleet Week Air Show
2021 Air Show Schedule – USN Blue Angels’ 75th Anniversary Air Show Season
Held annually between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, The San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show Presented by United attracts fans from all over the globe. The waterfront event is headlined by The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and is the only air show in the United States with a commercial airliner, the United 777, to perform a fully choreographed act.
Image courtesy AcrobaticTeams and K.C. Wilsey / FEMA / StrategyPage