Historic Aircraft that Led the D-Day Aerial Invasion of Normandy Returns to Europe for 80th Anniversary Commemoration

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© Commemorative Air Force/Ken Mist

The echoes of history are about to resound across the skies of Europe in commemoration of one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th century.

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF), known as the World’s Largest Flying Museum, is gearing up for a historic journey to Europe in June 2024. Their mission? To honor the 80th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, with two legendary aircraft, R4D Ready 4 Duty and C-47 That’s All, Brother.

A Journey Through Time

Eight decades ago, on June 6, 1944, the world witnessed unprecedented courage and determination as Allied forces launched the largest amphibious invasion in history. At the forefront of this historic event was the C-47 That’s All, Brother, spearheading a formation of over 800 aircraft, delivering brave paratroopers into the heart of enemy territory.

That’s All, Brother’s role in D-Day and subsequent operations became etched in the annals of history, symbolizing the resilience and resolve of those who fought for freedom.

Decades after its heroic exploits, That’s All, Brother slipped into obscurity until fate intervened, and the aircraft found a new lease on life under the care of the Commemorative Air Force. Through painstaking restoration efforts fueled by the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of donors, That’s All, Brother reemerged in all its glory, ready to take flight and reignite the flames of remembrance.

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That's All, Brother Crew © Courtesy of Commemorative Air Force
That's All, Brother © Courtesy of Commemorative Air Force

A Journey of Remembrance

The CAF’s aircraft will join other historic military aircraft from the U.S., deploying as one American contingent called the D-Day Squadron. Together, they will fly from Oxford, Connecticut, to England. Once in Europe, the American fleet will participate in displays and aviation events for the public in select European cities. Amidst displays and educational initiatives, these aircraft will stand as a living testament to the sacrifices made by countless heroes, ensuring that their legacy endures for generations to come.

The CAF organization participated in 2019 for the 75th Anniversary and is excited to participate again. “Although it was a tremendous amount of work to bring our aircraft to Europe, it was well worth the effort, and we hoped we would have the opportunity again,” said CAF President/CEO Hank Coates.

“Flying and exhibiting our aircraft in Europe is special. Unlike being on tour in the U.S., the people of Europe had a war in their backyards. The invasion of Normandy was a sign of hope and salvation for so many. It is our honor to return to Europe with such an authentic piece of history, to pay tribute to those who participated in D-Day and remind the generations that followed how important this event was in history.”

© Luigino Caliaro/Commemorative Air Force

About The CAF

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the world’s largest flying military aircraft museum, with more than 175 vintage military aircraft and 11,000 members across the globe. While headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the organization has several locations in the U.S. and abroad. The mission of the CAF is to Educate, Inspire, and Honor through flight and living history experiences. For over 65 years, the CAF has been dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, education, and remembrance. The non-profit organization maintains airplanes in flying condition, allowing the public to experience first-hand the sights and sounds of America’s military aviation history.

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The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the world’s largest flying military aircraft museum, with more than 175 vintage military aircraft and 11,000 members across the globe.

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