D-Day Squadron Gears Up For Normandy Flight


If flying 1000-plus C-47s to France was a logistical challenge in 1944, it’s no less so in 2019. The Daks Over Normandy project, which will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, showed up at AirVenture this week to talk about its extensive planning.

The D-Day Squadron will fly more than 20 C-47s from the U.S. to Normandy in late May 2019, culminating with a mass formation on June 5 to commemorate the invasion of northwestern Europe by allied forces in 1944. As did the original airplanes, the C-47s will follow a route from the northeastern U.S., to Goosebay, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and into Duxford, England, where a couple of days of events are planned.

“What we’re doing is putting staff in place. We’ve got some dispatch and flight planning organizations that have offered their services. We’re going to pre-stage a team of people at every stop,” said Eric Zipkin, head of the D-Day Squadron organization. Zipkin said the logistics are daunting, especially since the event will be funded largely by private donations.

Most of the 20-plus aircraft making the trip are actual C-47s, some used in wartime service. Many were converted to DC-3s for airline use after the war. Zipkin said following the Normandy event, some of the airplanes will continue on to Germany to mark the beginning of the Berlin Airlift in 1948. For more on this event, see this AVweb podcast recorded at AirVenture and the organization’s website.