D-Day Squadron Names 10 Aircraft Participating in Legacy Tour

A group of Douglas C-47s and DC-3s is preparing to fly to Europe for commemorations in 2024.

A group of Douglas C-47s and DC-3s are preparing to commemorate D-Day and the Berlin Airlift. [Credit iStock]

Mustering time has arrived again for the D-Day Squadron, a group of Douglas C-47 and DC-3 military transports participating in next year’s celebrations of D-Day and the Berlin Airlift.

The group announced the first 10 aircraft joining its Legacy Tour to make the journey to Europe in the spring to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasions and 75th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. More aircraft are expected to join the squadron as preparations continue, but the following have confirmed their participation as of November 10:

  • C-47 Placid Lassie ( N74589), Tunison Foundation, U.S.
  • C-47 That’s All, Brother ( N74TB), Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Centex Wing, U.S.
  • C-47 Screaming Eagle (N150D),  private owner, USA
  • R4D Ready 4 Duty (151ZE), CAF Dallas-Forth Worth Wing, U.S.
  • C-53 Spirit of Benovia (N8336C), Aerometal International, U.S.
  • C-41A Hap*penstance (N341A), The RM Group LLC, U.S.
  • DC-3 Chalair (F-AZOX), private owner, France
  • C-47 Night Fright (N308SF), Night Fright Promotions Ltd., U.K.
  • C-47 Drag ’em Oot (N473DC), Aero Legends, U.K.
  • C-47 Pegasus (G-ANAF), Aero Legends, U.K.

“We’re excited to join the D-Day Squadron to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord. As a U.S. Naval aircraft, Ready 4 Duty and her crew are honored to represent the contributions of the U.S. Navy at this historic event,” said Chris Volpe, wing leader of the CAF’s DFW wing “This will be our first flight mission with the squadron, a great salute to the Greatest Generation who came before us.”

With additional teams continuing preparations, the squadron plans to add more aircraft to the mission. The group also expects at least three U.K.-based C-47s and possibly two more from France and Sweden to join those in its recent announcement in time for the event. The squadron led a similar flight in 2019.

“Having led the DC-3’s journey to Europe in 2019, the D-Day Squadron earned a global presence that’s provided our organization to grow, multiply our DC-3 connections, and even launch the DC-3 Society, where we actively aid operators, crews, and enthusiasts with maintenance, operations, airworthiness, and displays,” said Eric Zipkin, director of operations and mission chief pilot for the D-Day Squadron. “We won the war because of our logistical abilities. It’s only appropriate [that] we, as the stewards of this noble aircraft, continue to fly and maintain the very airframe that was the backbone to achieving victory.”

D-Day Squadron plans to depart Oxford-Waterbury Airport (KOXC) in Connecticut on May 18. The flight will then head east across the Atlantic, following the original Blue Spruce route. More information and updates about the mission are available here.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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