Military jet flyover startles Atlantans

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's maybe a speck of dust on the lens of the iPhone? (Kelley Conway)

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's maybe a speck of dust on the lens of the iPhone? (Kelley Conway)

Intown Atlanta residents and office workers got quite a shock Tuesday as a military jet buzzed the city.

Twitter immediately lit up with people wondering why their office windows were shaking.

Several people reported seeing a military jet fly by, and one AJC Twitter follower, Kelley Conway, even managed to get a picture of the fast-moving jet, thought to be a Marine F-18.

“Too stunned to get a closer shot, but here’s [a picture] after it turned east,” wrote Kelley on Twitter.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed a flyover occurred at 11 a.m. to honor a deceased military veteran.

According to an obituary in the AJC, the funeral for Marine Col. William LeRoy Bates Jr., was held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church on North Avenue.

Bates, 91, of Atlanta, died Feb. 22 from complications of an aneurysm.

During World War II, Bates served on the USS Lexington and received battle stars for combat in the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and attacks on the Japanese. He was awarded Silver and Bronze stars for his participation in the Korean War, where he was a company commander in the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, and fought in the Inchon Landing, the capture of Seoul, the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, and the fighting in central Korea in the spring of 1951.

Bates made Colonel in 1962 and retired in 1965, after more than 20 years in the Marines, said his daughter Catherine “Cat” Bates Coulmas of Acworth.

As a civilian he worked for a building supply company, in real estate, the construction industry and for the state of Georgia.

Another photo of the plane taken from Atlantic Station. (Vincent Fiano)

Another photo of the plane taken from Atlantic Station. (Vincent Fiano)

181 comments Add your comment

Soduk

March 5th, 2013
12:05 pm

“Interesting” article. Headline grabs you due to the flyover–but then the article itself pivots toward an obit.

PDS

March 5th, 2013
12:06 pm

We are right in Midtown. Very cool. Thank you for your service Col. Bates.

K

March 5th, 2013
12:07 pm

Rest in peace, Marine

bob

March 5th, 2013
12:13 pm

Seriously AJC? You couldn’t find a better picture?

Whatevs

March 5th, 2013
12:14 pm

God speed, Colonel.

ad

March 5th, 2013
12:16 pm

I know they said they were going to quit doing flyovers for events in order to save money, but if anybody ever deserved one, this Marine did.

The Great Santini

March 5th, 2013
12:19 pm

No need to be Startled. That is the sound of freedom! Semper Fi, Devildog! God’s Speed.

BRW

March 5th, 2013
12:20 pm

If someone ever deserved a fly-over, I think this soldier was it.
Thank you for your service Colonel.

BravesGirl

March 5th, 2013
12:23 pm

Semper Fi, good sir.

Bill

March 5th, 2013
12:23 pm

F/A-18’s were stationed at NAS Atlanta until just a few years ago, and F-22’s built there until a couple of years ago. The Georgia ANG flew F-15’s out of Dobbins until 1995. There used to be a lot more “sound of freedom” heard in the skies around Atlanta.

Dave

March 5th, 2013
12:23 pm

Semper Fi Colonel and thanks! TPM, go crawl back in your hole!

Tom

March 5th, 2013
12:25 pm

Semper Fi Col. Bates. Thank you for your service!

Marie

March 5th, 2013
12:25 pm

Semper Fi, Col. Bates.

USAF (RET)

March 5th, 2013
12:25 pm

Enter your comments here

Strong Black Woman

March 5th, 2013
12:25 pm

Godspeed, sir. Semper Fidelis!

Kevin

March 5th, 2013
12:29 pm

People fail to realize that flyover’s and most non-team airshow performances are not actually an extra expense for the military. These maneuvers are usually scheduled for an aircraft and pilot that will be logging flight hours that day anyway.

AF Lt Col

March 5th, 2013
12:31 pm

Semper Fi, sir!

BB

March 5th, 2013
12:32 pm

Rest in Peace, Devil Dog.

From the Marine Corps Hymn- verse 3

“Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.”

USAF (RET)

March 5th, 2013
12:32 pm

Semper Fi…Sir…To the family of Colonel Bates: I know you’re very proud that Colonel Bates served his country with honor. I’m on the 26th floor of a downtown building…I was “bombed” with questions after we all heard (and felt) the flyover…I made an announcement to the department when I found out what the story was about to which everyone bowed their heads in honor for another one of our heroes.

Heelboy

March 5th, 2013
12:33 pm

TPM sometimes it is best to just STFU and keep your less than educated opinions to yourself. If any Marine deserved a fly-over it was Col. Bates. That man participated in some of the most hellish fighting during TWO wars so that YOU could have the ability to sound like the idiot you are. I’m sure your elementary school teacher is so proud at how well you can spell

Don Coyote

March 5th, 2013
12:33 pm

Of course it was a troll.

A Silver Star recipient is deserving of a fly-over as a symbol of his nation’s gratitude.

MGuns C

March 5th, 2013
12:34 pm

Semper Fi, Colonel.
See you on Guard Duty in Heaven, you definitely served your time in H__l.

pooterguy

March 5th, 2013
12:36 pm

A fitting tribute to honor a member of the virtually extict Greatest Generation. And perhaps a fleeting moment of reality for the generations of decadents who will never appreciate them.

Bobby

March 5th, 2013
12:37 pm

Semper Fi and oooorah!

Thank you for for your service sir.

God has a special place for members of the Frozen Chosin.

Maria

March 5th, 2013
12:37 pm

Is that a dust spot on your camera ?

Wutehvah

March 5th, 2013
12:40 pm

RIP and Semper Fi… Too bad the Blue Angels schedule got can’d with the recent cuts. Nothing like seeing/hearing a high-speed pass at low altitude.

Tommy

March 5th, 2013
12:42 pm

Hmmmmm we honor a dead person by scaring & shocking half a million living people. Very considerate of these jokers.

MGuns C

March 5th, 2013
12:42 pm

Tea Party Member,
It has absolutely nothing to do with whom holds the highest office of our land.
It has everything to do with giving this American Patriot his due. The man served in many of the harshest battles of the 20th Century. Where have you served?

Old Sarge

March 5th, 2013
12:45 pm

I doubt Tea Party’s comments were genuine. I disagree with Tea Party types on most issues but as much as my opinion anger them I have never had one show me anything other than and a deep respect for my 23 years of service as well as the service of all others in uniform. I never met one I would suspect would begruge the good Colonel his fly by. I smell a troll. RIP Colonel secure in the knowledge you have deffended the freedoms of the people well and that jerk shooting off his mouth is proof of it.

DebDoes

March 5th, 2013
12:48 pm

RIP Colonel. The fly by was much deserved. To the other mean comments here (really Tea person) can’t we all be civil for just one moment?

mebership chairmanz

March 5th, 2013
12:54 pm

what he dunn sed

Intown

March 5th, 2013
12:55 pm

I thought we were under attack!

I like the old blogs better.

March 5th, 2013
12:58 pm

I love the old blog format.
Thanks to this veteran and his family.
And to all veterans and their families.
Wish I had seen the jet.

Anyone know a good Braves blog now that the AJC has crimped down on internet freedom?

Jonny

March 5th, 2013
12:59 pm

I agree with Tea Party Member. The military gets way too much recognition for doing nothing. That jet flyover distracted my work day and was completely unnecessary. Waste of money that could be wasted elsewhere.

Kathleen S

March 5th, 2013
1:01 pm

Thank you for your service Colonel Bates. I was honored to witness the flyover!

vcg

March 5th, 2013
1:01 pm

Col. Bates was a great MAN, period. I worked for him 30 years ago. His integrity, leadership, and candor were unmatched. He commanded respect and gave it as well. He was a gentleman and a gentle man. He left an indelible mark in my life, and my career. Now he is with his sweet Miss Charlotte. Rest in Peace, good sir! You truly deserv every show of respect offered this day.

zeke

March 5th, 2013
1:02 pm

Amazing that this was allowed. The Peachtree Summit Building is specifically a NO FLY ZONE because of its designation as a potential terrorism target. Irresponsible!

tom

March 5th, 2013
1:02 pm

Team Party Meber (which you are obviously not a part of), I say we throw your evil remains out with the used cat litter and hairballs.

mthe

March 5th, 2013
1:03 pm

Jonny.. apparently you are not much smarter than your hero, Joe Tess Tea Party Meber…. it has already been stated that fly overs do not cost extra money… the planes used were already scheduled to be flying… so there IS NO EXTRA COST TO THE TAXPAYERS!

tom

March 5th, 2013
1:04 pm

yo, my cous, zeke …. ever heard of special clearance??, Yo, dude …. don’t be a moron.

1276jacket

March 5th, 2013
1:05 pm

Well, only in America can some one show their intelligence level in public and live to see another day.
Guys like Col. Bates and a lot of others fought so that we can have the freedom to live as we want. There is always someone who doesn’t appreciate living in this country.
If you think Obama is behind this why don’t you move to another country that is better than this one.

Jonny

March 5th, 2013
1:06 pm

I just don’t see the point of honoring some dead guy. Military servicemen are just government puppets who kill mostly innocent civilians. I work every day and have never killed anyone – where’s my flyover? Waste money on a flyover for me.

zeke

March 5th, 2013
1:06 pm

There was no notification, um dude

TCBATL

March 5th, 2013
1:08 pm

I work in midtown on peachtree everyone in our office ran to the windows…It was close

covgal

March 5th, 2013
1:09 pm

Not appropriate to do a fly-over over the city. Sending people into a panic is not the way to honor someone. How much does a flyover cost taxpayers or is it at the family’s expense?

Tag

March 5th, 2013
1:11 pm

Well deserved.
An honor earned by an American Hero.
Thank you.

DaughterofaMarine

March 5th, 2013
1:12 pm

TPM- Apparently taxpayers money was wasted on your attendanceat the elementary school you went to. The Marine fought so you had the right to say what you want, however offensive as it is.
Dictionary apps are free, ya know?

zeke

March 5th, 2013
1:13 pm

F-18s are about $7000 per flight hour

zeke

March 5th, 2013
1:16 pm

Where do F-18s fly out of in Georgia? Dobbins?

Tag

March 5th, 2013
1:17 pm

America allows freedom of speech.
Col. Bates fought hard to give you whiners the ability to criticize his fly over.