D-Day Squadron Assembles For Another Atlantic Crossing


A photo of some of the 2019 preparations for the Atlantic crossing.

The D-Day Squadron is an organization which enabled fifteen Douglas C-47/C-53/DC-3 transports to fly from the United States to Europe in time to help mark the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion in France. As Mike Colaner reported in our pages, the 2019 journey’s outcome was “Missions Accomplished”. 


D-Day Squadron graphic.

Five years later, another chapter in this history book is ready to be added. The 2024 D-Day Squadron Legacy Tour will once again take to the air and travel from the United States to Europe during the middle of May. The group will be present in a number of air shows and historic events ” ‘Cross the Pond” before returning to the U. S. Some of the dozen or so transports of the Squadron are already based in Europe, and will join their North American counterparts in the air over the Normandy, France area, and continue onto a 75th Anniversary event of the Berlin Airlift, in Germany. Ultimately, some will fly to Italy at a former C-47 base before making the westbound Atlantic crossing and return to their home airports.


One of the 2019 D-Day Squadron’s Douglas C-47 Dakotas

The route of flight mimics one of the routes that American aircraft took to Europe from the U.S. and Canada. Their stops are: Waterbury Oxford Airport in Connecticut. All eastbound aircraft will depart on or around Saturday May 18th. They’ll fly to Presque Isle, Maine for their first stop, this airport was one of the “hopping off” points which were the final U. S. stop before leaving the country. Then it’s on to Goose Bay, Labrador Canada, then they begin their overwater trek with stops in Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland. They’ll stay in England for a bit, and France too for the commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. 


The 2024 group members could be away for almost two months!

During the 2019 flight operation, the 15 aircraft flew some 150,000 miles and 1,489 flight hours over a seven week period. 45,000 miles were flown over water. The total number of sorties for the Squadron was 644, and during many of these, 800 parachutists exited the group’s aircraft. It’ll be quite interesting to see this year’s totals!

Three weeks from this posting, aircraft will have already arrived in Waterbury and will have practiced formation flying and accomplished safety checks needed for the crossing. Plans are for a public day (tickets must be purchased) on Thursday May 16th, and a private event for the sponsors and air crews/ground crew members is Kickoff Dinner on Friday, May 19th. The next day (weather, etc. permitting) the Squadron will begin their journey to Europe.

For more information, visit:  https://www.ddaysquadron.org/2024-legacy-tour



Ken Kula

Assignment and Content Editor, writer and photographer A New Englander all of my life, I've lived in New Hampshire since 1981. My passion for all things aviation began at a very early age, and I coupled this with my interest of photography during college in the late 1970s. I spent 35 years in the air traffic control industry, and concurrently, enjoyed my aviation photography and writing adventures, which continue today. I've been quite fortunate to have been mentored by some generous and gifted individuals. I enjoy contributing to this great site and working with some very knowledgeable and equally passionate aviation followers.

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