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C-130 formation flying over Manteca
Missing man formation for Memorial Day Weekend commemoration
C-130 Hercules
Four C-130 transports similar to the one shown will fly over Manteca in a missing man formation.
A rare missing man aerial formation using four of the military’s largest airplanes will pass over Woodward Park during Memorial Day Weekend ceremonies.

Pastor Mike Dillman - a Vietnam War veteran who is the point man in putting together the Sunday, May 29, annual Not Forgotten Memorial Commemoration, said he received confirmation that the Air Force will be flying over Manteca with four of the workhouse four-engine turbo-prop cargo aircraft.

Seeing a C-130 in a missing man formation isn’t that unusual but having the entire formation consist of C-130 planes is a fairly rare event.

The C-130’s wing span is 132 feet and 7 inches while the transport plane is 97 feet and 9 inches long and 38 feet and 3 inches high. It can carry a payload of 45,000 pounds or the equivalent of two M113 armed personnel carriers, 64 airborne troops, or 74 litter patients with two medical personnel.

Nearly 15,000 people turned out at last year’s event.

Dillman believes Manteca’s event is the largest Memorial Day commemoration on the West Coast. The city is also one of the few places in California - if not the only one - that has a parade on Memorial Day. The parade is organized through the Manteca Chamber of Commerce.

The day will also feature a free concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m. featuring former Marine and American Idol’s second season fourth runner-up Josh Gracin who has had a No. 1 country hit and a number of Top 10 songs.

The aerial fireworks following the show will be twice the size as last year.

Dillman emphasized the fireworks are “to celebrate the safe return of those who made it back home.”

The day will start with a 5K run at 8 a.m.  Worship services will take place at the park at 10 a.m.

There will be a car show with 500 entries, military vehicle display, pony rides, entertainment, a kids’ energy zone twice as large as last year, food, veteran services, and other events.

There will also be three helicopter landings.

The day will include a Gold Star luncheon with families of the 54 men and women in the Northern San Joaquin Valley who have lost their lives so far in the Global War on Terror invited as guests. They will have a police escort to the park where ceremonies will take place.

The 6 p.m. ceremonies will feature the dedication of another panel of 600 lives lost that is part of the moving tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terror. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Davis - a former Manteca High student and French Camp resident - will be in attendance.

The event this year is being funded with the proceeds of 250 tickets being sold at $100 apiece for a chance to win a 2011 Ford Fiesta.