C-47's D-Day 08/04/23
C-47's over Normandy
A cross community event taking as many C-47 (DC-3) aircraft as possible to fly the historic D-Day routes over Normandy
We are planning to have a number of groups fly this event - each with their own departure airports. I will be flying "That's All, Brother" with a planned departure from Blackbushe Airport EGLK (formally RAF Hartford Bridge) and then overly the former RAF Greenham Common EGLP which was the actual departure point.
That’s All, Brother left Greenham Common just before midnight on June 5 with seven crew members and paratroopers from the Infantry Regiment Headquarters of the 502nd. Unlike many that followed, the troops dropped onto their target, northeast of the French village of Carentan. Being the lead ship, the airplane didn’t meet the resistance that, along with weather and poor navigation, caused some later C-47s to miss their drop zones. “The navigator said, ‘We escaped most of the flak because the Krauts were still sleeping when we came over,’ ”
The scale of the aerial armada that followed was vast. In the first wave alone—code-name Albany—432 C-47s carried more than 4,000 paratroopers to France. They came in low to evade radar and kept radio silence. Sixty percent had no navigators. They flew through fog, low clouds, and flak. Drop zones were missed, chutes opened too low, and Germans were waiting. But wave after wave came—more than 13,000 paratroopers crossed the channel that night; the next day, almost 4,000 troops flew into France in gliders towed by C-47s.