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    Veterans ride the skies on Independence Day

    Veterans ride the skies on Independence Day

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Bass | Passengers and crew discuss the features of the retired Army C-47 that was featured in...... read more read more

    SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – More than 30 people sat in a briefing room at Myrtle Beach Airport’s General Aviation Terminal and listened to Barry Avent’s, a volunteer coordinator with Salute from the Shore, pre-flight brief at Myrtle Beach Airport’s General Aviation Terminal July 4, 2013.

    Those people experienced the Fourth of July in a new way: up in the sky in vintage aircraft in the Salute from the Shore aerial parade.

    The Salute has been flying for four years, thanks to efforts from volunteers.

    Avent, the vintage aircraft coordinator with the event, detailed the day’s flight.

    “The name of our flight will be ‘Salute,’” Avent said during the briefing, referring to their call-sign for radio communication. “Our flight is going to be at 700 feet.”

    Wendell Hall, an airplane mechanic and Beech C-45 Expeditor pilot from Cheraw, S.C., said this was his second year with Salute.

    The nine planes, including the Douglas C-47 Gooney Bird, and the C-45, took off from Myrtle Beach and flew north to the border of North Carolina and South Carolina before flying south along then entire coast of South Carolina. They then circled back at the border of South Carolina and Georgia and flew back to Myrtle Beach.

    For the fourth year aircraft flew along the coast in tribute to Independence Day. When sequestration grounded F-16 Fighting Falcons and prevented Team Shaw from participating, the veterans and civilians took matters into their own hands.

    Avent’s efforts to provide vintage aircraft for the event were successful. Nine aircraft participated in the air parade including a World War II C-47 and C-45, three Globe Swifts which are dual seat single engine aircraft, and a Boeing PT-17 Stearman which is a single engine biplane from the 1930s. There was also an F-1 Rocket, a North American T-6 Texan, and a Cessna 421.

    Both Avent and Hall said that it was meaningful to be a part of an event of this size and scale.

    From the sky, passengers inside the aircraft witnessed Independence Day in a new way. While flying down the coast, passengers saw beach-goers celebrate Independence Day. American Flags fluttered in many places along the beach which flew in the breeze and parasailors flew behind the boats towing the brightly colored chutes. Swimmers and boaters flocked en masse on the shoreline and in the water.

    Salute from the Shore was only made possible because of the volunteer’s tireless efforts to the event’s success, Avent said. Regardless of sequestration and uneasy economic times, because of their love for their country, volunteers donated time and money to a worthy cause. For more information on how to get involved or just to see what happened, visit



    Date Taken: 07.09.2013
    Date Posted: 07.09.2013 10:49
    Story ID: 109889
    Location: SC, US

    Web Views: 76
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