D-Day plane coming to Butler County was found in an aircraft boneyard: What to know about ‘That’s All, Brother’

The owners of an historic airplane that flew in the D-Day invasion of Normandy reached out to the Butler County Regional Airport about using the facility for tours and flights this weekend.

After David Fehr, director of development for the airport, talked to the owners about landing the plane there and using the airport, he called it “a good match.”

He said the plane will be located west of the terminal building and the airport will remain open throughout the three-day event. Fehr said he has received numerous calls from those interested in seeing and possibly flying in the plane.

“Sounds pretty cool,” he said.

“That’s All, Brother,” a C-47 piloted by Lt. Col. John Donalson, is scheduled to visit the airport Friday through Sunday, Fehr said. The plane is stopping at several airports throughout the region, including the Air Force Museum from April 20-22 and Grimes Field in Urbana April 19.

The plane was a lead aircraft for the airborne invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. 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, according to the plane’s website. Before it was sold, the plane also flew in operations Dragoon, Market Garden, Repulse and Varsity, according to a website.

Two historians from the U.S. Air Force later discovered that it 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.

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

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.

Visitors can buy a ride on the plane, which lasts about 30 minutes, through the plane’s website, thatsallbrother.org. Tours are $10, and rides are $249.

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