Though abbreviated in length, the significance of a flight in a Douglas C-47 that dropped paratroopers into Normandy, France, on D-Day during World War II was not lost on the passengers who signed up for the privilege yesterday at Sun ’n‘ Fun 2019. It was a bumpy morning, according to passenger Dave Shellbetter. “The captain decided that it was better to keep everyone in his or her seats and keep the flight short,” he said.
The C-47 and DC-3 aircraft of the D-Day Squadron participating in formation flights this week at the show include C-47s Placid Lassie; That’s All, Brother; and Tico Belle, as well as the DC-3 Flabob Express. Sponsor Aircraft Spruce & Specialty has pitched in with the Tunison Foundation to help return the C-47s and DC-3s to the skies over Normandy this summer for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
The group will travel via the original Blue Spruce routing: flying from Oxford, Connecticut (KOXC), to Goose Bay Airport (CYYR) in Newfoundland, Canada, Narsarsuaq Airport (BGBW) in southern Greenland, Reykjavik Airport (BIRK) in Iceland, and Prestwick Airport (EPIK) on the Western coast of Scotland before making the final leg to Duxford Airfield (EGSU) north of London.
Once arriving in Duxford Airfield, the D-Day Squadron will join with its European counterpart, Daks over Normandy, to participate in multiple events on June 2 to 5, 2019. The combined fleet of historic aircraft will cross the English Channel on June 5, fly over Normandy, France, and participate in multiple events at Caen-Carpiquet Airport from June 5 to 9.