Dakotas over Normandy 2019

Discussion in 'WW2 Museums. Events, & places to see.' started by von Poop, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    ....and I'll hopefully be near Ranville for the drop....traffic allowing!
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  2. frg7700

    frg7700 Junior Member

    There appears to be a little bit of doubt as to whether the drop at Ranville is going to happen as planned.
    Friction between DoN & the landowner, might be worth checking nearer the time if it's the only reason you're traveling.
    I'll be in Normandy for the first half of June, mostly in Benouville and over the "big" weekend probably entirely in Benouville and the immediate surrounds due to the aforementioned traffic issues.
  3. 509thPIB

    509thPIB Well-Known Member

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  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Somewhat confused situation at the moment with various commentators saying the 'military' will drop at Ranville while the DoN planes will do their drop at Sannerville (east of Caen).
  5. frg7700

    frg7700 Junior Member

    They're all now dropping on Sannerville, including the UK/French military. Whoever annoyed the landowner at Ranville has done a very good job of it.
  6. Budgie 55

    Budgie 55 Member

    Sannerville it is then.
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Can't read article....

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  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    From Connecticut to Normandy, vintage planes help mark 75th anniversary of D-Day


    By Jesse Leavenworth
    | Hartford Courant |
    May 18, 2019 | 6:00 AM
    | OXFORD

    From over East Hartford, Hartford’s skyline is visible under “That’s All, Brother,” one of five C-47s that flew in formation over Connecticut on May 15. The six planes departed from Oxford, flew over Pratt and Whitney, landed at Bradley Field and returned after a reception at the New England Air Museum. These war planes, along with six others from the United States will fly to Europe and join 15 more to drop an estimated 1,000 D-Day paratroopers in a reenactment over Normandy. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)

    Seventy-five years after dropping airborne troops into Nazi-occupied France, vintage warplanes bearing the black and white invasion stripes of Operation Overlord are set to take off from Connecticut on Sunday for a return flight to Europe.

    Placid Lassie, D-Day Doll, That’s All, Brother and other planes of the D-Day Squadron are to depart from Waterbury-Oxford Airport and leapfrog across the Atlantic to take part in Daks Over Normandy. The international gathering of volunteer pilots, crews and historic planes is to culminate on June 5 with a jump by about 250 paratroopers into the same drop zones used in the June 6, 1944 invasion.

    Placid Lassie, piloted by Eric Zipkin of Middlebury and co-piloted by Garrett Fleishman of Oxford, flies in formation on the right wing of Betty’s Biscuit Bomber, both C-47s. One DC-3 and five C-47s flew in formation over Connecticut on May 15. They left Oxford, flew over Pratt and Whitney, landed at Bradley Field and returned after a reception at the New England Air Museum. These six will be joined by nine more to fly to Europe and join 15 more. The planes will drop an estimated 1,000 paratroopers in a reenactment over Normandy. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)
    Organizers say the event is meant to honor the citizen soldiers of World War II who liberated France and fought on to victory over the next year.

    “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to honor our veterans and to teach new generations about America’s place in the world,” Placid Lassie pilot Eric Zipkin of Middlebury said.

    Leo Paxton, 4, center, and Oscar, 9, learn about the supplies paratroopers needed to survive on their flights. Steve Raccio of West Haven, left, stands with Craig Megargle of Fairfield, center, both dressed as WWII paratroopers at Oxford Airport. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)
    Along with D-Day veterans, the star of Daks Over Normandy will be the C-47 Skytrain, the military version of the Douglas DC-3. The plane debuted in 1935 as an airliner and quickly proved tough and reliable. Transcontinental trips could be made in about 15-17 hours, and the DC-3 established the airplane as the best method for long distance travel.

    Two fuel tanks, totaling an additional 460 gallons of fuel are positioned directly over the C-47’s center of gravity to prevent problems flying the plane. The fuel will help the plane make its journey to Europe in coming months for a reenactment, dropping 1,000 paratroopers over Normandy. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)
    When the war started, C-47s began rolling out of Douglas Aircraft’s Long Beach, Calif. plant in huge numbers, according to a Popular Mechanics magazine article — https://bit.ly/2Hs3JlI. Carrying 28 fully armed soldiers or 6,000 pounds of cargo, the planes acquired many nicknames, including Gooney Bird, Dakota (Dak) and Vomit Comet.

    Powering the plane were two Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines, producing 1,200 hp each. To honor the men and women who made those engines, six planes of the D-Day Squadron flew over Pratt’s East Hartford and Middletown plants on Wednesday.

    That's All Brother, another C-47 that carried paratroopers on June 6, 1944, flies over East Hartford. (Johnathon Henninger/Special to The Courant)
    Planes of the D-Day squadron are all privately owned, and the organizations behind each aircraft raised money for the flight to Europe and participation in Daks Over Normandy, Zipkin said. Funds also were provided by more than 35 industry partners, D-Day Squadron spokeswoman Lyndse Costabile said.

    In addition to honoring veterans, the squadron’s goal is to inspire young people to learn about U.S. history and aviation and explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Costabile said.

    Steve Socolsky, the local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) President asks children in the New England Air Museum which one wants to be a pilot when they grow up. One DC-3 and five C-47s flew in formation over Connecticut on May 15. They left Oxford, flew over Pratt and Whitney, landed at Bradley Field and returned after a reception at the New England Air Museum. These planes will join about 15 more and will drop an estimated 1,000 paratroopers in a reenactment over Normandy. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)
    Profiled at https://bit.ly/2JSjIMV, most D-Day Squadron planes are storied combat veterans. In addition to service in Normandy, Placid Lassie, D-Day Doll and others among the 15 squadron aircraft also carried paratroopers in Operation Market Garden over the Netherlands in September 1944, in the relief of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and in Operation Varsity, a drop into Germany in March 1945.

    Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber flies in formation off the wing of Placid Lassie. They were two of five C-47s which flew in formation over Connecticut on May 15, and are expected to fly to Normandy for a reenactment. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)
    Accepted into service in September 1944, Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber earned her name for participation in the Berlin Airlift in 1948, when American and allied aircrews dropped tons of food and other supplies into West Berlin to thwart the Soviet Union’s attempt to isolate and starve city residents.

    Inside Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, John Doyle of Paso Rubles, a pilot in the role of flight engineer waits to depart Bradley Field. (Johnathon Henninger / Special to the Courant)
    Pan Am was one of 300 C-47s built for the China-Burma-India theater of operations and was used to supply U.S. and Nationalist Chinese forces from 1944 to 1945. Flabob Express, whose name during the war was Orion, served as personal transport for British Gen. Claude Auchinleck, then serving as Commander in Chief of the Indian Army.

    The first destination for the 10 planes departing from Oxford on Sunday morning (five others are departing from other areas) will be Goose Bay Airport (CYYR) in Newfoundland, Canada; then a refueling at Narsarsuaq Airport (BGBW) in southern Greenland; another stop at Reykjavik Airport (BIRK) in Iceland; and onto Prestwick Airport (EPIK) on Scotland’s western coast.

    From June 2-9, 30 DC-3 and C-47 planes will come together at Duxford Airfield in the United Kingdom and at Caen Carpiquet Airport in Normandy, organizers said. The actual anniversary of the invasion on June 6 is to be a quiet day of remembrance, so planes, pilots and paratroopers are to re-enact the airborne operation on June 5, flying across the English Channel to release jumpers wearing period uniforms.

    [Related] Man, 49, suffers life-threatening stab wound in New Haven bar fight »
    Preceding the historic beach landings, airborne operations early on June 6, 1944 involved 13,000 paratroopers from the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions along with British paratroopers — a total of about 23,000 combat jumpers.

    C-47s and gliders towed by the planes dropped the soldiers behind the Germans’ main lines. Their mission was to take the town of St. Mere Eglise and secure key approaches to the beachhead. D-Day casualties among U.S. paratroopers totaled about 1,500, including 338 killed and 1,257 missing.

    The June 5 commemorative flight, according to organizers of Daks Over Normandy, “will most probably be the very last large commemoration of this historic day.”

    For more information, visit the National D-Day Memorial at www.dday.org, www.daksovernormandy.com and http://ddaysquadron.org.

    Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at jleavenworth@courant.com.


    Jesse Leavenworth

    Jesse Leavenworth covers news in Manchester and stories of statewide interest. The New Britain native and U.S. Army veteran has been a reporter and editor at The Courant since 1987 and has reported, written and edited many of the major stories in the state over the past three decades
    Cee likes this.
  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    For the folks across the pond who cannot see the images in the article:





  11. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

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  12. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

  13. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

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  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

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  15. nigel barrett

    nigel barrett Member

    Just to report that I made it to the Sannerville drop zone for the Daks Over Normandy commemorative jump on 5th June.

    It was an amazing afternoon that will linger in my memory for many years. As discussed on here information on precise location and arrangements was non-existant, but having decided to play it by ear I took the overnight ferry and drove to the approximate location of DZ K, arriving about 3 hours early. Almost by accident I found a lay-by on the D675 and found a rare parking space amongst the mostly British, but also Dutch for some reason, cars and motor homes. Many thanks to my neighbours Rick & Manda for the cups of tea, offer of sandwiches and chat as we whiled away the time.

    1 hour before H-Hour I followed the small crowd up the track, realising I had reached the correct location as the way on to the DZ was blocked by RMPs from 16 Air Assault Brigade. There were plenty of people but it never felt too crowded and at 15.00 the British and French paratroops landed precisely on the field to our front, 2 British and 2 French aircraft making multiple runs with sticks of approximately 10 paratroopers.

    Next came the Red Devil’s and the two veterans jumping tandem. Then after a 2 1/2 hour delay came the Dakotas, I think around 20 of them, presumably some having gone u/s at the last moment. And what a sight as the 200 or so re-enactors started to jump! Health and safety went out of the window as they made full use of the landing zone and instead of looking on from the sidelines we were in the centre! It was amazing to see so many parachutes in the air at the same time and all around us as the Dakotas came back time and again for more paratroopers to jump. I can only imagine that this is what it was like 75 years ago, except it was dark and there was no gun fire, as they descended everywhere, some drifting off beyond the road behind us, some dangerously heading for the tree line and houses of Sannerville beyond.

    So many thanks to the organisers and participants for an amazing experience that I will never forget.
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  16. frg7700

    frg7700 Junior Member

    Can only echo your sentiments about Sannerville on the 5th. We got a good location on the D226 before it closed and stayed there for the day. Was also wonderful to see a Dakota formation over Peggy Bridge, in the sunshine on the sixth. This morning I had the great pleasure of overflying many of the key sites in Normandy myself abord PH-PBA of the DDA.

    As for the rest of my dealings with Daks Over Normandy, least said, soonest mended. Waiting for a fair wodge of cash to be refunded and I'm not the only one.
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Oh dear!
    I was going to visit them at Caen/Carpiquet Airport last week but didn't prebook a ticket as I wasn't sure which day I would be able to attend if at all. In the event I decided to visit and went to the 'obligatory' car park to catch the Shuttle Bus.....no Bus Stop....but after a time a very nice man drifted along and said that, about half a mile away, there is a Public Bus Stop (Ligne 3) which we should use....and it would be gratis as the Shuttle Bus. So off we all trooped. A bus did indeed arrive and, after tootling around what felt like half of the Caen side streets, we arrived at the Airport. Next challenge....getting to the Daks event. Another half mile walk after locating the directions (a piece of A4 paper sellotaped to a lamp post - I jest not). By that time it was extremely clear that the event was not very well organised and the Dakotas were in fact dotted around the Airfield and with people not being allowed up close as promised.
    Conclusion: take a few piccies through the perimeter fence, don raincoat (it was that type of day) and head back to the bus. Very nice lady helping other unfortunates and a (gratis) ride back to the Public Bus Stop...and a half mile walk back to the car
    Overall cost? Wasted car fuel (OK only a few miles from Bayeux where I was staying but that's not the point) and time - a good half day of precious time wasted.
    Overall benefit? Fortunately realised what was going on before I parted with any actual Euros! VERY Fortunately, I wasn't one of those who had parted with Euro200 (so I was told) of non-refundable cash for a ride in a Dakota that was cancelled due to bad weather anyway (the bad weather bit is true) even though other planes were flying - Caen is a working Airport.
    Final point: guess what...there was a free car park at the Airport which was only half full anyway......
  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  20. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    I was one of the many thousands waiting at Beachy Head.
    Weather can't be helped, but the delay of over 2 hours meant that my wife was frozen, having expected to have a lunch and time to walk the dogs, watch the flypast and off home.
    What I can't understand is how the formation became so ragged, so that after the initial 2 or 3 vics, everything else was strung out, almost out of sight of each other, so the "mass" flypast (which would probably been incredible) turned into a lame procession.
    Whilst Daks Over Normandy have a lot to answer for, surely the pilots in the flypast must have wanted to make a lasting impression as to how the mass of aircraft would have seemed 75 years ago?
    What could have been a magnificent spectacle turned into pretty much a damp squib.

    We were told that the 2 hour delay was due to macron not being where he was supposed to be, so take offs delayed until he arrived, anyone know better?

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