The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Iconic World War II aircraft will land at Prestwick Airport en route to Normandy

A RESTORED Douglas C-47 aircraft that originally had a lead role on D-Day in 1944 will land at Prestwick Airport later this month en route to visiting Normandy to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and to honour veterans. 

The C-47 troop carrier, known as Whiskey 7, will make its first European landing at Prestwick Airport on 20/21 May after crossing the Atlantic. 

As part of a world tribute to the fallen and surviving soldiers of World War II, the American National Warplane Museum, based in Geneseo, New York, is working alongside the French government to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a significant turning point of the war. “Return to Normandy” is a project that will involve a warplane that served on D-Day to deploy paratroopers over select areas of Normandy this coming June.

The museum’s flagship aircraft, a restored Douglas C-47, will revisit Normandy, France, to commemorate the anniversary this summer. Departing the National Warplane Museum on 15 May, Whiskey 7 and the crew will cross the North Atlantic, making seven stops before reaching Normandy. Once again, Whiskey 7 will play a key role in D-Day, re-enacting the same mission she carried out seventy years ago. Members of the volunteer paratrooper group, Liberty Jump Team, will be deployed from Whiskey 7 over original drop zones, including a town that has not seen a parachute drop since D-Day.
“This has been a unique opportunity for us to thank our veterans for their service and we’re honoured to have been invited by the French government to be an integral part of their world celebration this June,” said Austin Wadsworth, National Warplane Museum President. 

Whiskey 7 is one-of-a-kind. Not only do very few airworthy C-47s that served on D-Day remain active, but Whiskey 7 was the lead aircraft of the second wave of Allied troops, directing hundreds of C-47s from the English Channel to France. She also carried 21 paratroops from the 3rd Battalion, including their commander, Lt. Col. Edward C. Krause, who led the assault on Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

Prestwick Airport Chief Executive Iain Cochrane (pictured above) commented: “It’s wonderful to host this iconic aircraft that played such a vital role in World War 2. In welcoming Whiskey 7 to Prestwick - which itself played a significant part in the conflict - we honour the brave people who flew in it seventy years ago and who contributed to a major turning point in the war.” 
Organisers say it will fly in from Iceland on 20 May but, subject to weather, it could be 21 May.

Prestwick Airport website

Posted by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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