The eyes of many aviation enthusiasts were focused on Europe, more specifically the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the role that the Douglas C-47 played on that momentous day and those that followed. In departure from our traditional editorial content, we decided to produce this issue dedicated to the events surrounding the airborne portion of the invasion.
Members of the Warbird Digest team, as well as many of our contributors, were direct participants in the events surrounding the 75th anniversary. Personally, one of the highlights of my trip to Normandy this year was watching a wave of C-47s pass over a small French town while jumpers in full World War Two military gear jumped into the drop zone, culminating in a World War Two veteran recreating his jump—this time in daylight and 75 years on. Moving stuff.
The events of this summer and the desire to produce this special issue mean that our release of this issue was delayed. We are working hard to get back on schedule with a return to our regular editorial content.
I believe this issue of Warbird Digest will stand as a tribute to the ordinary citizens that took up arms to become soldiers in the best army in the world, and to the bravery of these citizen soldiers on that fateful day, June 6, 1944—an army that through its sacrifice contributed greatly toward the liberation of France by the combined Allied forces and onward final victory, ending the devastating war in Europe.
We hope you enjoy this D-Day 75th anniversary issue as much as our team did in compiling it for you. Click HERE to buy this issue.
D-DAY SQUADRON – An ambitious attempt to fly as many C-47s from North America as possible in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy
THE MIGHTY FIFTEEN – The fifteen U.S.-based Douglas C-47-type aircraft of the D-Day Squadron’s trip to Normandy, illustrated with a brief history of each participating aircraft.
D-DAY DAKS— THE EUROPEAN CONTINGENT – Warbird Digest chronicles the European-based C-47-type aircraft that took part in the D-Day 75th anniversary celebrations.
D DAY DOLL – The veteran C-53D Skytrooper operated by the Commemorative Air Force Inland Empire Wing recently returned to Normandy to mark this 75th anniversary year of the D-Day invasion.
FIRST, NOW LAST – David Hamilton, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret), was one of the first to pilot an aircraft over Normandy, taking part in the initial phase of the D-Day operation. Today, he is the last survivor of the Pathfinder pilots.
JUMPING INTO HISTORY – The WWII Airborne Demonstration Team were determined to take part in the D-Day 75th anniversary in force.
LIBERTY JUMP TEAM – Over 100 members of the Liberty Jump Team participated in the D-Day 75th anniversary events in Normandy.
FINAL WITNESS – Dan McBride is the last survivor from his own “Band of Brothers.”