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Military planes will fly the entire SC coastline to celebrate the Fourth of July

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A C-17 Globemaster III with the 437th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston takes off on June 23, 2016, from Young Air Assault Strip on Fort McCoy’s South Post. A C-17 will be part of Salute From The Shore. File/Scott T. Sturkol, Public Affairs Office, Fort McCoy, Wis./U.S. Army

This Fourth of July, military planes from bases across the state will fly the entire stretch of South Carolina's coastline. 

On Saturday, the 11th annual Salute From The Shore event will begin about 1 p.m. featuring planes from Charleston Air Force Base, Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter and even some historic planes flown by private owners. 

Starting at the North Carolina/South Carolina border, the planes will fly from Myrtle Beach to Bluffton and land at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort near Hilton Head Island. 

“South Carolina is a very patriotic state,” Cam Smith, a co-founder of Salute From the Shore, said in a statement. “We figured the coast of South Carolina would be a great platform for an audience to gather and show gratitude to the military.”

To kick off the event, two Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons from Shaw will start the parade in the skies. It will be followed by a Boeing C-17 Globemaster flown out of Charleston.

Other private aircraft are expected to join in the procession. Most notably, a privately owned P-51 Mustang dubbed "The Swamp Fox," a single-seat fighter plane and bomber successfully used during World War II and the Korean War, will also travel the coastline. 

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“I’ve known about Salute From the Shore since its inception,” RT Dickson, the pilot of the vintage P-51, said in a statement. “I’m definitely excited. I’ve seen Salute From the Shore on numerous occasions, and I’m proud and honored to be able to participate this year.”

The event has been going on for more than a decade. 

"There's just this reverence that takes over the beach during the entire event," Jill Armbruster, another co-founder of the event, said in a promotional video. "The people of South Carolina take this seriously."

The flyover is scheduled to last about an hour and the trek will hit every major beach from Cherry Grove to Beaufort. 

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter. 

Thomas Novelly is a political reporter based in Charleston. He also covers the military community and veterans throughout South Carolina. Previously, he wrote for the Courier Journal in Kentucky. He is a fan of Southern rock, bourbon and horse racing.

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