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LVG : D-Day Dakota TouR

LVG : D-Day Dakota TouR

With darkening skies and a forecast of a wet day, expectations of a good day were low. We should not have worried, we saw a couple of quick showers during the day and sheltered under the aircraft wings, but everyone agreed it was a super day.

80 years ago just short of 1000 Douglas DC3/C47 Dakota aircraft were preparing to drop parachutes and tow gliders across the channel, which around a year later saw the end to WW11. In memory of those heroic fighters it is hoped to assemble 11 aircraft, some of whom were on the D-Day flights, to tour Southern Britain and Northern France, culminating in a parachute drop and a meet up with Spitfires and Mustangs over Omaha Beach on the 80th anniversary on 6th June. 

A few LVG members took their TR’s to see 4 of the aircraft which visited the Shuttleworth Museum @ Old Warden Aerodrome on Sunday 26th May. All 4 had flown over from America, taking the Northern route of Goose Bay, Greenland and Iceland, before arriving on our shores in Scotland. The beauty of this event was the opportunity to get up close to the aircraft and chat to the Americans who had flown them over. The youngest type approved pilot on the tour is just 19 years old and it was sobering to think that he would probably have been considered a veteran if flying on the D-Day mission.

Not only could you walk around the flight line, but also have access to some of the interiors and chat with the pilots on the flight deck. One aircraft, Placid Lassie, which was flown over to France on that fateful day in 1944, was open for visitors and we learnt that since being built in 1942 it has amassed over 50,000 flying hours, initially with USAAF & RAF, before a varied military and civil existence around the world. Only the foresight of a dedicated American gentleman saw the aircraft saved from the breakers and it is hoped she will go on flying for many years to come.

If you liked the few photos in this report take a look at our “Gallery” link below for more pictures. Although mostly aircraft, there are some showing the 3 red TR’s that attended.

Gallery link:-

Lea Valley Group

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