Last weekend I joined an estimated million other people in San Francisco taking part in the Fleet Week festivities. Knowing little about the event, I learned it celebrates the end of a 14-month journey around the world of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet” in 1909. This “showcase of American sea power” just drips of Roosevelt – no chance most administrations would get away with or even dream of such a thing. In 1981, Mayor Dianne Feinstein revived the celebration in San Francisco to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces. This year was doubly special – the 30th anniversary of San Francisco’s Fleet Week, and the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation.
We found a spot along the waterfront at the St. Francis Yacht Club to watch the Parade of Ships and the Airshow . We ended up being right next to the cannons that would perform the 21-gun salute to the incoming ships.
Among them were the enormous USS Carl Vinson, which looked like it barely fit under the Golden Gate Bridge,
the USS Antietam,
the USS Guadalupe,
the USS Jeremiah O’Brien,
and lastly Canada sent some of their ships, including the HMCS Ottawa.
Before the airshow, five skywriters circled the area writing an ad for Breitling watches.
The airshow featured several 20-40 minute shows from: the Patriots Jet Team,
an USMC MV-22 Osprey,
the USAF B-2 Bomber,
the RCAF Snowbirds Jet Team,
a Navy F-18 Super Hornet,
a USAF F-15 Strike Eagle,
a stunt pilot Sean D. Tucker who amazed me doing corkscrews, stalling and recovering right before hitting the water,
and finally the Blue Angels.
You can view all my photos from the Fleet Week Parade of Ships and Airshow here .