Photos by
Kevin Hecteman
San Francisco, California

Fleet Week October 12 & 13, 2002

(Click on Thumbnail for larger photo)

The diamond exiting the stage after the Diamond Aileron Roll. Note one of the O'Brien's cargo cranes in the lower right corner.

The Echelon Parade.

The diamond loop as viewed through the rigging of the O'Brien.

The solos run in as the fog rolls in.

The solos are setting up for the Double Tuck-Over Roll. In the background are Treasure Island and the eastern section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

At the end of the show, the six-ship Delta does a flat smoke-on pass from right to left with Alcatraz in the background.

There's nothing like watching the team fly over San Francisco Bay from the deck of a World War II Liberty ship!

Here, the diamond is setting up for the Diamond 360. That's Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower at lower left.

The Double Farvel seen from Crissy Field on Friday with Alcatraz in the background.

That's Fat Albert behind the Golden Gate Bridge, turning back toward the show area.

Some of these were taken from the Liberty ship S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien on Saturday, October 12. The ship was just to the east of Alcatraz at the time of the show, with the bow pointed toward the Golden Gate. (If you're standing on show center at Muni Pier, we were just behind and to the right of the show box. This is not an angle you'd get at most airshows!)

This show came close to being fogged out. A bank of that low stuff for which this town is famous was rolling in at the appointed hour, so #5 did a thorough weather check. The team was able to perform all of the high show except the Delta Loop Break with Six-Plane Cross. Then, after it was over, the Blues did a smoke-on flyby at Pacific Bell Park, where the San Francisco Giants were playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. (I turned my radio back on after the show just in time to hear the announcers talking about the flyby. It seems the umpires got the word about 10 minutes in advance and called time for the flyby.)

The Background Photo

The Jeremiah O'Brien is one of some 3,000-plus Liberty ships built during World War II and one of two still capable of steaming (the other being the John W. Brown in Baltimore). The O'Brien was part of the 5,000-strong D-Day armada in June 1944 and the only ship from that armada to return to Normandy in 1994 for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. (The ship made the round trip from San Francisco for the occasion with a volunteer crew.) The ship now mostly rests at Pier 45 in San Francisco, where it's open to the public as a museum (the National Liberty Ship Memorial). The ship usually cruises San Francisco Bay twice a year, one weekend in May and Fleet Week in October.

By the way, if you've seen the movie "Titanic," you've seen the O'Brien's vertical triple expansion steam engine in action.

--Kevin Hecteman

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I would like to thank
Kevin Hecteman
for the use of these photographs.