When the D-Day Squadron joined other groups from around the world in planning, preparing for, and executing the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019, the organizers came away with the concept of creating a type club for the venerable, historic Douglas DC-3 and its variants. None existed at the time—which struck them as a large gap in support for what is arguably one of the most popular and important aircraft ever built.
The nonprofit D-Day Squadron has now officially launched the DC-3 Society, which will provide type-specific guidance for operating the DC-3 and its variants, including the C-47, as a way to maintain airworthiness for the models so that future generations can see them fly. The society also serves the legacy of veterans who flew, maintained, and required the model to prevail in conflicts ranging from World War II to the Vietnam War.
The group announced its first affiliate partner and founding DC-3 operator member for the society, Aerometal International, which has secured, restored, and trained in the type for many years. “I am privileged to be associated with the DC-3 Society,” said Paul Bazeley, owner of Aerometal International. “This launch represents the culmination of hundreds of volunteer hours. We are all passionate about the history these aircraft embody and the legacy that they represent. As chair of the maintenance committee, I look forward to being involved in further efforts with the society to safeguard the ongoing preservation and operation of these historic machines.”
An important part of the DC-3 Society is its service to history—and it hopes to encourage the efforts and inquiries of young people interested in aviation’s rich past who have had their interest sparked by seeing the DC-3 in flight and on display at air shows, museums, and other locations. The Young Historians wing of the society intends to promote these connections further. “I feel that it is necessary to ensure that young children and students understand World War II and our nation’s history as a whole,” said Michael Naya, Jr., a freshman studying history at Kean University, Union, and founding member of the Young Historians Program. “In the words of George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ I feel that we often go throughout our lives thinking we did very little although that is not true. Every individual young and old has a story!”
Several membership levels are available, from affiliate membership for operators, pilot/mechanic membership for those typed and proficient in maintaining the airplane, and enthusiast/historian membership for those who wish to study and support the type. Information on membership can be found on the DC-3 Society page on the D-Day Squadron web site. Members can access the Facebook Group, newsletter, and invitations to special events throughout the year—including an annual gift from the society.
The D-Day Squadron’s C-47, Placid Lassie, supports the mission of the DC-3 Society by joining the Commemorative Air Force and other groups in the Arsenal of Democracy flyover taking place over the Washington Mall on Friday. For those not in the Washington, DC, area or otherwise unable to see the event in person, join LiveAirShowTV’s hosted stream of the event by visiting the flyover website, starting at 9:45 am EDT. Flying will link to the event on the Virtual Air Show page.