BELLFLOWER – The iconic Goodyear blimp “Spirit of America,” which has soared above Southern California for the past 14 years, celebrated the 75th anniversary of St. John Bosco High School on May 21 during one of its final journeys.
The blimp will be decommissioned in August after conducting its final tour of the west coast beginning on June 2.
Carrying the president of St. John Bosco High School, Paul Escala, as well as several photographers, the blimp departed from its home base in Carson on the morning of May 21, destined for the campus of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower.
While scheduled to fly over the campus at noon, the blimp was delayed about 20 minutes due to strong headwinds.
Bosco students welcomed the blimp by forming a large number “75” on the school’s lacrosse field, commemorating the 75th anniversary of St. John Bosco High School which was founded in 1940. Students welcomed the blimp by waving and cheering as the airship circled the campus, and many took souvenir photos with their cell phones.
“We are incredibly grateful to the folks at Goodyear Airship Operations in Carson,” said Escala. “This is a unique and fun way to help us celebrate Bosco’s 75th anniversary.”
Founded in 1940 when Bellflower was principally an agricultural community, St. John Bosco High School was originally an elementary boarding school with students through 8th grade. It was transformed into a high school in the early 1950’s, and it graduated its first high school class of only sixteen students in 1956.
Today, Bosco has 820 students in grades 9 to 12.
Bosco’s 75th anniversary will culminate in September, with a major celebration to be held on the school’s campus.