Vintage C-47s To Gather for D-Day Tribute

 - December 26, 2018, 1:37 PM
A fleet of vintage C-47s and DC-3s will be flying from the U.S. to the UK next May to participate in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. On June 5, more than 30 Dakotas will participate in a drop of more than 250 WWII re-enactors over the Normandy region. (Photo: Tom Demerly)

The National Warbird Operator Conference (NWOC) has partnered with the D-Day Squadron, a non-profit organization that will lead an American fleet of restored C-47s and DC-3s to Europe next year in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the pivotal Normandy Invasion.

At NMOC’s annual convention in February, the D-Day Squadron will make a presentation on preparations for the May 2019 flight, which will trace the original route across the North Atlantic used to ferry aircraft during the Second World War. The 19 twin-engine transports, nicknamed the Dakota by the British, will then join their European counterparts to create “DAKs over Normandy,” an aerial fleet of more than 30 aircraft that will depart the UK’s Duxford Airfield on June 5, cross the English Channel, and drop more than 250 paratrooper re-enactors in full period uniforms over the original drop zones along the French coast in Normandy.

Events surrounding the flight will take place on June 2-5 at Duxford and from June 5-9 at Caen-Carpiquet Airport in France.

"It is really great that the industry has come together to support us in a major way,” said Moreno Aguiari, executive director of the D-Day Squadron. “Several companies have offered their support and expertise, and we are really proud of this. I want to thank the NWOC management team for giving us the opportunity to present our mission and for facilitating our participation."