The Blue Angels—the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron—will return to the skies above Annapolis in May to celebrate Commissioning Week at the U.S. Naval Academy. The iconic planes will perform May 26 through 28 during the USNA Class of 2021’s graduation ceremonies.
It’s reassuring news for those around Annapolis who mark the start of summer with the traditional air show, but missed out last year. Throughout the pandemic, many of the Blue Angels’ shows were canceled or postponed.
A highlight for many in the Bay region came when the Angels and their U.S. Air Force counterparts, the Thunderbirds, conducted a special flyover of hospitals to salute front-lines workers during the stay-at-home order in May 2020.
Back on its regular Commissioning Week duties, the team will practice in the days leading up to graduation, and can be seen and heard soaring over local skies. The flyover will be a low-altitude flight over Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, where the graduation will take place on Friday, May 28.
This will be the 75th air show season for the squadron, which is based out of Pensacola, Fla. The first air show performed by the squadron was in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1946. Since then, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 500 million fans.
The squadron earned its name when the original team was planning a show in New York in 1946 and a member of the team came across the name of the city’s famous Blue Angel nightclub in New Yorker magazine.
Performances aid the military services in recruiting and retention goals and demonstrate the professional skills and capabilities of the naval services to the American public and U.S. allies. The annual Annapolis performance is a source of pride for locals in close proximity to the Naval Academy.
The Blue Angels showcase the teamwork and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through their flight demonstrations and community outreach.