History Was Re-Created by the D-Day Squadron’s European Round Trip


The Now epic trans-Atlantic double crossing by the D-Day Squadron … the planes and the men and women that accomplished the feat, is now “in the books”. Per the organization, here’s the D-Day Squadron’s “Normandy by the Numbers”, which gives a bit of perspective to the historic effort to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France in 1944. Not only was this a seaborne assault, but also was a huge aerial effort just hours prior to the naval action began. Here’s the huge logistical effort that it took for fifteen aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and return. Then, take time to remember that it took hundreds of aircraft to employ the paratroopers on that fateful night in 1944!

These tallies are directly from a D-Day Squadron press release, with editor’s notes added in brackets:

15 Douglas C-47/DC-3s

6 C-47s [were] veterans of D-Day

150,000 total miles flown

1489 flight hours flown

7 weeks on the road

8 countries visited

100+ pilots

22 airports visited

100,500 gallons of 100LL fuel

683 gallons of aviation oil

45,000 nautical miles over water flight

11 Flight Information Regions

5000 pounds of Jelly Belly parachutes dropped

5 days of parachute operations

800 parachutists dropped

644 total sorties

$2.7 million in operating costs

2.6 million people reached on social media

195 individual accredited media

45 partners and sponsors

2 North Atlantic group crossings

1 Presidential flyover

1 lap around the Statue of Liberty

1 Arlington Cemetery overfly tribute

1 stuffed bear “Private Presquey” [carried aboard the plane(s) ed.]

At the end of the list provided by the D-Day Squadron, this sentence provided an exclamation point to the group’s efforts:   “The privilege of crewing these machines across all these numbers, in order to recognize and honor the sacrifices made by so many for the benefit of each one of us, our children, and their children… priceless.”


Don’t forget that a number of the D-Day Squadron aircraft have made appearances in other countries and in American events as they returned home. The EAA AirVenture Oshkosh celebration featured a number of aircraft that made the trip overseas… both from the D-Day Squadron and otherwise.

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