Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1695151
Latest on the runners and riders from the D-Day Squadron FB page/
Good afternoon, here is the update for the day. We are happy to announce that Clipper Tabitha May is the first airplane of the D-Day Squadron fleet that arrived at the Imperial War Museum Duxford! Well done guys!
Tomorrow Placid Lassie, Miss Virginia, Commemorative Air Force That's All, Brother, Spirit of Benovia and Legend Airways Foundation will fly to Prestwick.
Tomorrow, the second flight of five will fly to Narsarsuaq in Greenland. Pending an early weather briefing, Historic Flight Foundation’s Pan Am Airways System, Gooney Bird Group - Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, Virginia Ann, D-Day Doll To Normandy and Flabob Express should be able to leave CFB Goose Bay and fly to Greenland.
Miss Montana to Normandy is in Oxford and should fly to Goose Bay tomorrow.
We hope to have the Squadron back together at Prestwick Airport before the end of the week

This is going to be soooo good and we haven't even focussed on all the others flying in from all over the world.
Korenwolf, Dave W, Lockhaven liked this
#1695299
This is an amazing assembly and will add much to the D-Day jamboree on the 75th anniversary.

I hope some watching stop to ponder that it was the (very young) pilots of C-47s like these who contributed significantly to hefty losses amongst the 82th and 101st Airborne of the US Army on 5th/6th June.

Coming under heavy anti-aircraft fire, something that these transport aircraft pilots were not accustomed to, led to much panic, with drops from too great a height, leaving the troopers dangling and vulnerable, too low a height with obvious consequences, well above the 110mph maximum for the chute drop and generally a long way from the drop zones. Considerably more than a thousand of these heavily laden troops were classified MIA, largely as they had been dropped in the sea or flooded areas of the Cotentin Peninsular, instead of their drop zones.

It's a lot of fun watching the 'Daks' - the reality behind it isn't so jolly.

Rob P
Iceman, Dave W, kanga and 9 others liked this
#1695372
Rob P wrote:This is an amazing assembly and will add much to the D-Day jamboree on the 75th anniversary.

I hope some watching stop to ponder that it was the (very young) pilots of C-47s like these who contributed significantly to hefty losses amongst the 82th and 101st Airborne of the US Army on 5th/6th June.

Coming under heavy anti-aircraft fire, something that these transport aircraft pilots were not accustomed to, led to much panic, with drops from too great a height, leaving the troopers dangling and vulnerable, too low a height with obvious consequences, well above the 110mph maximum for the chute drop and generally a long way from the drop zones. Considerably more than a thousand of these heavily laden troops were classified MIA, largely as they had been dropped in the sea or flooded areas of the Cotentin Peninsular, instead of their drop zones.

It's a lot of fun watching the 'Daks' - the reality behind it isn't so jolly.

Rob P


Whilst the incident you describe was clearly one of the less successful events of WW2, I think you (for whatever reason) are projecting a slightly jaundiced view of C47’s and their pilots. Most of whom performed with bravoury and distinction.
kanga liked this
#1695381
Lefty wrote:.. I think you (for whatever reason) are projecting a slightly jaundiced view of C47’s and their pilots. Most of whom performed with bravoury and distinction.


Indeed. However, I have heard a US military historian adduce as a possible reason for the US 'misdrops' the fact that, for most of the USAAC Transport pilots in the European theatre, this was their first flight into 'hostile skies'; or, indeed, at night since leaving the US. Their fighter and bomber brethren, and their RAF equivalents, were well used to such, of course. The US C47s, thitherto used only for intra-UK liaison and training, were deliberately kept in the Midlands and North until the eve of D-Day. Only then were they deployed South, under radio silence, refuelling at 5 MU at Kemble (~1,000 extra movements on 5 June), and flying on to their launch fields. This was all part of the deception, including radio deception, operation (FORTITUDE). There they met the Airborne units they would be carrying for the first time. This was unlike the RAF C47 crews, who had rehearsed with their troops (in the North) before D-Day, rehearsals which included the emphasis on accurately identifying DZs.
Rob P, Flyin'Dutch' liked this
#1695397
It'll be a proper bun-fest over in Normandy next month, but once it's all calmed down, I can thoroughly recommend a tour around the area of the invasion beaches. We did it a couple of years ago with daughter and son-in-law, as he is a proper military history fan, but he didn't fancy the driving. We stayed in Bayeux, which is a very good base for getting around, and we visited Sainte-Mère-Église, Gold, Omaha, Juno and Sword beaches, Pointe du Hoc, Pegasus Bridge (where we were served lunch by Madame Gondrée herself) and the Merville Battery, plus a few other small museums. All in four days, including time exploring Bayeux itself.
#1695404
Lefty wrote:... a slightly jaundiced view of C47’s and their pilots. Most of whom performed with bravoury and distinction.


If you say so.. However this is not the verdict of history.

If I had been there flying my lumbering C-47 into flak on a crucial mission for which I was ill-prepared, and if I didn't just turn around and flee. that would have been an act of huge bravery on my part, something I am certain I would have been incapable of.

The fact remains that fire-walling the throttle, diving, climbing, swerving, hitting the 'jump' button too soon etc., happened often enough to cost a lot of lives unnecessarily.

If you want to ignore that at this distance I have no issue. Every last one of them was braver than I.

Rob P
Nick, Stampe liked this
#1695715
"that's all, brother" arriving at Prestwick: photo among this lot:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-48389010

When I was working for Caledonian [sic] there, Air Ulster had a daily scheduled service between there and Belfast, with DC-3s :) ISTR it was mixed passenger and freight, to connect with the Air Canada, PanAm and BOAC schedules to Canada/US. It was a long time ago .. :wink:
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