Lead D-Day invasion plane to land at Air Force Museum, other regional stops

Weather permitting, an historic airplane that flew in the D-Day invasion of Normandy will land at the National Museum of the United States Air Force next week for a three-day visit.

That’s All, Brother, a C-47 piloted by Lt. Col. John Donalson, is scheduled to visit April 20 to 22, the Air Force Museum said.

The plane will also fly to Hogan Field, the Butler County Regional Airport in Hamilton, from April 16 to 18, and to Grimes Field in Urbana April 19. A trip to Xenia is also slated for April 23 to 25.

The plane was a lead aircraft for the airborne Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944 in World War II. The plane led some 800 C-47s that dropped more than 13,000 paratroopers into northeastern France.

After D-Day and other missions, the airplane returned to the United States and was sold on the civilian market in 1945, the museum said in a release this week. Before it was sold, the plane also flew in World War II operations Dragoon, Market Garden, Repulse and Varsity, according to a web site devoted to the plane’s history, https://thatsallbrother.org/.

“Over the next several decades, this C-47 changed hands many times and its historical significance was lost,” the museum said. “Ultimately, two historians from the U.S. Air Force discovered that this historic aircraft was lying in a boneyard in Wisconsin.”

The Commemorative Air Force, an organization that finds and preserves historic aircraft, acquired the aircraft and returned it to flying status, the museum said.

“That’s All, Brother has been restored to its authentic 1944 condition, including its D-Day paint scheme and original interior,” the museum said in its release. “The aircraft returned to the skies over Normandy for the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in 2019.”

The plane is scheduled to land on the runway behind the museum April 20, next Tuesday, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The aircraft will be available for viewing on static display Tuesday between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April 21 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and April 22 between 9 a.m. and noon

On the afternoon of April 22 the aircraft will depart by 2 p.m.

Visitors can watch the aircraft land and take-off from the museum’s Memorial Park.

The landing and departure are weather-dependent and subject to change.

While indoors masks that cover the nose and mouth are required for visitors ages 3 and up. While outdoors a mask should be worn when unable to properly maintain physical distancing, while in line and while inside the aircraft, the museum said.

Interior aircraft viewing will be managed by the C-47 crew and limited to two visitors at a time. The aircraft will have a designated entrance and separate exit location. Hand-sanitizing stations will be located at the entrance and exit of the aircraft.

For more information, visit https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/C-47-Landing/.

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