Historic C-47 Departs for Normandy

Whiskey 7 to commemorate D-Day anniversary.

Douglas C-47 Whiskey 7

Douglas C-47 Whiskey 7

** Whiskey 7**

Whiskey 7, a Douglas C-47 that flew as a lead ship dropping paratroopers during the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, embarked today on another important mission, taking off from a grass strip in central New York to travel back in time to France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day storming of the beaches during World War II.

The historic airplane, in the collection of the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, New York, is making the 3,600-mile trip across the North Atlantic, and will arrive with plenty of time to spare for its departure from RAF Duxford in England to buzz the skies over Omaha Beach in early June. The "Return to Normandy" tribute flights by Whiskey 7 will involve eight jumps by 18 jumpers each to take place between June 4 and 8.

Whiskey 7's original flight from Duxford in 1944 involved dropping paratroopers over the French town of Saint-Mere Eglise, where American soldiers liberated the village from the Nazis. After the war the C-47 was converted to a DC-3, flying for several airlines until being sold to a private owner in 1993. In 2005, the airplane was restored to its former glory, complete with its Whiskey 7 white paint over olive drab.

The C-47 departed Geneseo Airport at about 2:30 p.m. local time today. You can follow the crew's progress on Twitter by checking out the posts of @GeneseoAirshow.

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