D-Day was undoubtedly one of the defining events in modern history and the Imperial War Museum (IWM) at Duxford, Cambridgeshire hosted some 23 DC-3/C-47/Dakota variants to mark the 75th anniversary. Dakotas had departed from Duxford on D-Day along with other airfields in southern England and so the location was apt. We visited for Topshotfoto.com on 4th July 2019 which was a practice day for the formation that left for Caen-Carpiquet airport the next day. Higher than acceptable winds prevented a parachute drop during our visit but there was plenty of aviation action throughout the day.
Norwegian C-53 (registration LN-WND) taxis out for its formation practice. It was built in Santa Monica, California in 1943 and flew with the US 8th Air Force in Britain from early October that year. At one stage it was used as a VIP transport for the deputy commander of the Allied Expeditionary Air Forces.
“Placid Lassie” is a C-47 was also built in 1943 but at the Douglas plant at Long Beach at a
cost of just over $109,000. She entered USAAF service with the registration 42-24064. At 0200
she towed a Waco glider from Aldermaston to Normandy.
C-53DO N8336C “The Spirit of Benovia” in Civil Air Transport scheme. She is a WW2 veteran.
C-47B 348608 “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” took part in the Berlin Airlift.
Another view of “Placid Lassie” the lead aircraft for the invasion.
June 6th 1944 (D-Day) saw 160,000 allied troops land on the Normandy beaches. 24,000 troops preceded the main force arriving by glider or parachute and the C-47 Skytrain (Dakota in RAF service) was responsible for delivering them.
Whilst the weather was not ideal for aviation photography this was certainly a historic and “must see” event.
Pan American World Airways “Clipper Tabitha May” seen receiving some TLC to the port engine.