Dedicated enthusiasts have tracked down the lead transport aircraft from the Allied invasion of Normandy, which took place 71 years ago, to an aircraft graveyard in the United States. A Kickstarter campaign is underway to restore the Douglas C-47 Skytrain to flying condition.
According to Urban Ghosts
Five hours before the D-Day landings, C-47 42-92847, known as That’s All, Brother, led a formation of more than 800 aircraft behind enemy lines. Their mission was to drop 13,000 paratroopers into France before Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy later that day. The transport’s name represented a personal message to Adolf Hitler that enough was enough. Historic film, shot as the plane departs RAF Greenham Common on its D-Day mission, shows it was equipped with an early form of airborne radar to guide the invasion force to the drop zone.
But when the war in Europe came to an end, That’s All, Brother, like so many storied aircraft, was lost to history. Unlike most, however, it escaped scrapping and is understood to have passed through 16 civilian owners before retiring to an aviation boneyard in Wisconsin – which apparently had no idea of the aircraft’s historical significance.
“The C-47 had been purchased by Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh, WI and was set to be converted into a modern BT-67 turboprop. But the CAF stepped in and negotiated an opportunity to acquire That’s All, Brother from the company. As part of the deal, full purchase must be made by August 31.
“This is a modern miracle,” said CAF President/CEO Stephan C. Brown. “The aircraft was within weeks of being torn apart, when its serial number 42-92847 was traced and it turned out to be the actual lead aircraft for the D-Day invasion.”
“We want to bring this world class artifact back to the public as part of the CAFs mission to educate future generations about the legacy and values of those who fought for freedom in World War II,” Brown said.
When fully restored, That’s All, Brother will form the centrepiece of the CAF’s new national aviation museum in Dallas. It will be available for airshows and other commemorative events. It’s also hoped the aircraft will return to Europe in the summer of 2019 to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day. via