The last week has seen a flurry of activity with the D-Day Squadron as crews prepared for the final push to get their Douglas transport planes to Europe to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Coordinated by our very own Moreno Aguiari, fourteen of the fifteen aircraft that form the D-Day Squadron are now on the way to Europe following a fabulous few days in Oxford, Connecticut where the crews continued to practice together and continue with their safety training. The highlight of their time in Oxford was likely the 9 ship formation flypast down the Hudson river and around the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on May 18th.
The aircraft that form the D-Day Squadron are as follows…
1 – C-47A-40-DL Skytrain 42-24064 – Placid Lassie – N74589 – Lead Aircraft
2 – C-53-DO Skytrooper 42-47371 – Spirit of Benovia – N8336C
3 – C-53-DO Skytrooper 42-68830 – D-Day Doll – N45366
4 – C-47-DL Skytrain 42-32833 – Legend Airways ‘Liberty’ – N25641
5 – C-47A-60-DL 43-30647 – Virginia Ann – N62CC
6 – C-47B-5-DK 43-48608 – Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber – N47SJ
7 – C-47A-30-DL 42-23669/FD879 – Flabob Express – N103NA
8 – C-47B-1-DL 43-16340 – Pan Am – N877MG
9 – C-47A-60-DL 43-30665 – Miss Virginia – N47E
10 – C-41A 40-0070 Hap-Penstance – N341A
11 – C-47A-90-DL 43-15731 – Miss Montana – N24320
12 – C-47B-50-DK 45-1108 – Clipper Tabitha May – N33611
13 – C-47A-15-DK 42-92847 – That’s All, Brother – N47TB
14 – DC-3-201/C-49G 42-56631 – N18121
15 – C-47-DL 41-18401 – 101st Airborne Tribute – N150D
For the individual aircraft profiles, please click our story HERE.
Four aircraft left early (Clipper Tabitha May, Hap-Hastance, 101st Airborne Tribute and the un-named DC-3/C-49G), to follow the Blue Spruce ferry route, from Gander, Newfoundland, to Narsasauq, Greenland, to Reykjavik, Iceland, to Prestwick, Scotland, and from there to England and then Continental Europe.
Five further aircraft left their temporary home in Oxford, Connecticut on Saturday May 18th (That’s All…Brother, Placid Lassie, Spirit of Benovia, Legend Airways Liberty and Miss Virginia), with another five on Sunday (Virginia Ann, Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, Flabob Express, D-Day Doll, and PanAm). The lone straggler, Miss Montana, was late to leave home due to bad weather, but she is now in Oxford, CT, and will leave on Wednesday… doubtless to catch up with the others sometime soon. The video below shows five of the aircraft preparing to leave Oxford, CT on Sunday, May 19th.
A video of the aircraft on a refueling stop in Presque Isle, Maine prior to heading to Goose Bay.
Moreno Aguiari following arrival in Goose Bay, Newfoundland aboard Pan Am. Aguiari flew a couple of hours on this leg with John Sessions.
As of writing, the first four to leave have started arriving in England. Five aircraft had reached Reykjavik, Iceland (That’s All…Brother, Placid Lassie, Spirit of Benovia, Legend Airways Liberty and Miss Virginia), with five others temporarily weathered in at Goose Bay (Virginia Ann, Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, Flabob Express, D-Day Doll, and PanAm). Here are a few of Mo’s photos from Goose Bay… He has been flying aboard John Sessions’ C-47 Pan Am, and piloted part of yesterday’s leg too!
More updates will follow soon!