on June 2, 2019, we announced that D-Day 75th Anniversary Will Feature 30 Douglas C-47 Skytrains flyby and Massive Paratrooper Invasion. Apart from C-47 three Spitfires also flew over the white cliffs of Dover to mark the D-Day 75th anniversary. The three Spitfires, named Elizabeth, St George and City of Exeter, set off from North Weald Airfield in Essex for Cherbourg in Normandy.
On the night before the D-Day landings on June 6th, 1944, an aerial armada set out from England for Normandy. These were transports, Douglas C-47 Skytrain (or Dakotas) and C-53 Skytroopers, carrying elite paratroopers on a mission to seize objectives ahead of the seaborne landings. The lead plane of this main force was a C-47A bearing the name “That’s All, Brother.” Seventy-five years later, the same C-47A will fly over Normandy, a unique memorial to those who took part in one of the most important moments of WWII.
Seventy-five years later, the same C-47A will fly over Normandy, a unique memorial to those who took part in one of the most important moments of WWII.
According to a few sources In total, there were 37 confirmed DC-3s and C-47s.
Here’s All the Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft that participated in a Flypast over Normandy on D-Day 75th anniversary
1. “That’s All, Brother” N88874 – Commemorative Air Force
That’s All, Brother is one of the most exciting C-47s in the line-up thanks to its role in history as the lead plane on the drop over Normandy. Piloted by Lt. Col John Donalson, she carried paratroopers of the 101st and 82nd on June 6, 1944.
2. “Drag ’Em OoT” N473DC – Aero Legends / Paddy Green
Drag ’em Oot flew the U.S. 82nd Airborne on D-Day and went on to fly a second mission on the very same day to resupply the troops in France. She also participated in Operation Market Garden in September 1944, the largest paradropping operation in history.
3. “Luck Of The Irish” N836M- Air Heritage
This C-47 flew with the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing, 435th Troop Carrier Group’s 75th Troop Carrier Squadron. She flew two resupply missions during the Battle of the Bulge and towed Waco CG-4A gliders for Operation Varsity on March 24, 1945. She then repatriated Allied POWs from France to England at the end of the war.
4. “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” N47SJ – Gooney Bird Group
N47SJ, built in Oklahoma in 1944, arrived too late for D-Day, but still contributed to the war effort in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. She also participated in the Berlin Airlift. Her name, “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber,” pays tribute to the wife of museum owner and Gooney Bird Group co-founder Glen Thompson and to its role in dropping supplies to troops.
5. “Spooky” N2805J
“Spooky” was restored as John L. Levitow’s Medal of Honor Aircraft by the American Flight Museum in Topeka in 2000. She was active in WWII, flying to England in August 1944.
6. “Miss Montana” N24320 – The Museum Of Mountain Flying
Though Miss Montana didn’t fly during WWII, this Gooney Bird did fly the smokejumpers that fought the Mann Gulch Fire near Helena, Montana in 1949. Tragically, 12 smokejumpers and one smoke chaser perished in the fire. Eight of the 14 men jumping from her on the 75th D-Day anniversary are current or former U.S. Forest smokejumpers.
7. “Hit Or Miss” N834M – Wings Of Dream Aviation
Hit or Miss was produced in 1943 and eventually flew to England as part of the IX Troop Carrier Command. She didn’t participate in D-Day but was involved in Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge, and Operation Varsity.
8. “Kwicherbichen” ZA947
Kwitcherbichen is a Dakota ZA947 painted to represent Dakota FZ692 of No 233 Squadron, around the D-Day period in 1944. She has the best name ever!
9. “Willa Dean” RA-05738 – Lyon Air Museum
Willa Dean transferred from the USAAF to the French in May 1945 and was transferred again to the Israelis in 1967. Today she is one of the most original and complete C-47s in operation.
10. “Placid Lassie” N74589 – Tunison Foundation
Placid Lassie was built in Long Beach, CA in July, 1943. After a few years of service stateside, she flew to France fro D-Day and participated in a number of operations: Neptune, Market Garden, Repulse, and Varsity. her pilot, 1st Lt. Richard Lumm, survived the war, as did she!
11. “Virginia Ann” N62CC – Mission Boston D-Day
Virginia Ann served with the 61st Troop carrier Group, the 59th Troop Carrier Squadron, and the 9th Air Force.
12. “Tico Belle” N3239T – Valiant Air Command
Tico Belle is a bonafide Normandy veteran. She dropped her men of the 82nd Airborne Division over Landing Zone O near St. Mere-Eglise. She also flew five other operations in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany and stayed after the to participate in the Berlin Airlift.
13. “Miss Virginia” N47E – Dynamic Aviation
Miss Virginia never made it to Europe but served well in the States with the Training Command and the National Guard. She was also flown by legendary missionary pilot Bernie May and spent some time operating out of Colombia transporting missions supplies. Miss Virginia was the name of the P-38 Lighting that shot down Japanese Admiral Yamamoto in 1943.
14. N147DC – Aces High Inc
16. C-47A RA-2944G