Line-up announced for 2024 D-Day Squadron visit

A provisional list of C-47 and DC-3 aircraft has been confirmed along with an itinerary for next year’s much-anticipated tour

In a repeat of its 2019 mission, the D-Day Squadron will be bringing multiple Douglas C-47 and DC-3s to Europe in 2024 to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day and 75 years since the Berlin Airlift. The veteran type did of course make a prominent contribution to both those remarkable undertakings.

The North American flight is expected to depart Oxford-Waterbury Airport in Connecticut on May 18 and will head across the Atlantic following the original ‘Blue Spruce’ route – see below for a provisional itinerary and a list of participating aircraft. The list may change due to serviceability and logistical issues, so keep an eye on the D-Day Squadron’s website for the latest as we draw nearer to the occasion. It’s also hoped that the flight will be joined by at least three European-based C-47s hailing from Sweden, Finland and France, as well as a number of UK-based machines.

A quintet of the DC-3/C-47 ‘breed’ in flight with the D-Day Squadron
A quintet of the DC-3/C-47 ‘breed’ in flight with the D-Day Squadron Xavier Meal via D-Day Squadron

Speaking to the initiative’s website, operations director and chief pilot Eric Zipkin reflected on the 2019 ‘mission’ and looked forward to 2024’s undertaking: “Having led the DC-3s journey to Europe in 2019, the D-Day Squadron earned a global presence that’s provided our organisation [with the opportunity] 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. We won the war because of our logistical abilities [so] it’s only appropriate we, as the stewards of this noble aircraft, continue to fly and maintain the very airframe that was the backbone to achieving victory.”

Douglas R4D 'Ready 4 Duty' from the CAF Dallas Wing is expected to be among the participants
Douglas R4D 'Ready 4 Duty' from the CAF Dallas Fort Worth Wing is expected to be among the participants Via D-Day Squadron

 

A provisional list of aircraft taking part:

C-47 Placid Lassie ( N74589) – Tunison Foundation – USA

C-47 That’s All, Brother (N47TB) – Commemorative Air Force Centex Wing – USA

C-47 Screaming Eagle (N150D) – private owner – USA

R4D Ready 4 Duty (151ZE) – Commemorative Air Force Dallas – Fort Worth Wing – USA

C-53 Spirit of Benovia (N8336C) – Aerometal International – USA

C-41A Hap-Penstance (N341A) – RM Group, LLC- USA

DC-3 Chalair (F-AZOX) – private owner – France

C-47 Night Fright (N308SF) – Night Fright Promotions Ltd – UK

C-47 Drag ‘em Oot (N473DC) – Aero Legends – UK

C-47 Pegasus (G-ANAF) – Aero Legends – UK

 

The provisional itinerary:

May 13-18: Kick-off Week at Waterbury-Oxford Airport. Train and cross the North Atlantic

 

May 18: Departure for Presque Isle, Maine

 

May 19-20: Presque Isle, Maine

 

May 20-25: Northern Atlantic Crossing ‘Blue Spruce route’ Canada - Greenland - Iceland - Scotland

 

May 25-June 2: UK Tour (locations tbc)

 

May 29-31: North Weald

 

June 1-2: Imperial War Museum, Duxford

 

June 5-11: Normandy events and jump operations - Cherbourg – Maupertus Airport

 

June 15-17: Berlin Airlift, Wiesbaden Army Airfield on Clay Kaserne

 

June 22 -23: Venice, Italy - Aeroporto Nicelli

 

June 21-27: Northern Atlantic Crossing

 

June 27-28: Presque Isle, Maine

 

June 28: Aircraft return to home base

The D-Day Squadron will head for the UK in May 2024
The D-Day Squadron will head for the UK in May 2024 D-Day Squadron