Naval Ships Prep For 'Centennial Of Flight'

Celebration To Be Held Feb. 12 At North Island

The U.S. Navy is busy preparing San Diego-based ships for a public celebration next month.

  • Images:Navy To Mark 100th Anniversary Of Naval Aviation
  • As part of the Centennial of Flight, the Navy is preparing to let the public aboard some of its most valuable assets, including a guided-missile destroyer, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the amphibious assault ship, USS Peleliu.

    "We're looking forward to showing off the ship," said Capt. James Cox, the commanding officer of the USS Peleliu.

    The Peleliu is designed to carry Marines and their equipment to sea. As part of the celebration, the ship will be moved from its home port at Naval Base San Diego to the piers at Naval Base Coronado.

    "We do small tours like this for the Boy Scouts and Navy League and specialty groups, but to open up for a special event like this will be huge for us," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Dan Smithyman.

    Tours of the bridge will be offered, as well as the flight deck where the aircraft that make up the Marine component on board will be displayed.

    The Peleliu is named after the battle of Peleliu Isiand in World War II, which saw more than 1,200 Marines killed in action and eight Medal of Honor recipients named after the fighting ended. The eight are displayed on the shipÂ’s Hall of Heroes, which will also be part of the tour.

    The Centennial of Naval Aviation kicks off Saturday, Feb. 12, with a flyover of more than 150 planes along with static displays and ship tours at North Island.

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