Restored Aircraft

D-Day Restored Aircraft

Aviation Survivors of Overlord

Although not all of these aircraft are now airworthy, the planes below all flew missions on D-Day or in support of the Normandy Landings - and they have survived the seven-plus decades since the end of the Second World War. Some of the aircraft described here are currently undergoing lengthy and expensive restoration work, with their owners aiming to get them back to an airworthy condition. For the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in 2019 there are efforts underway to have more than 20 vintage C-47 aircraft in the skies above Normandy. For more information visit Daks Over Normandy.

Special thanks to Patrick Elie for his help with this page. Please take some time to visit his websites www.6juin1944.com and www.the-snafu-special.com.

C47 Kwicherbichen
C47 Kwicherbichen
C47 Kwicherbichen

Douglas C-47 Mk III Dakota

(FZ 692) "Kwicherbichen"

Delivered to the RAF in February 1944, this aircraft served with 233 Squadron at RAF Blakehill Farm until September 1944 when it was transferred to 437 Squadron RCAF. Bearing the name "Kwicherbichin" the aircraft took part in para drops and later casualty evacuations. In later life the aircraft flew for Environment Canada where it was used for mineral and environmental surveys. It is now at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. The RAF Memorial Flight's C-47 is painted in the colours that FZ 692 wore in 1944.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: Canada
  • Airworthy: In progress
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C47 That's All Brother
C47 That's All Brother
C47 That's All Brother

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-92847) "That's All Brother"

In 2014 reports began to emerge that one of the lead aircraft from the Normandy Landings had been discovered. The reports were true - a researcher had discovered the existence of the aircraft in a Wisconsin boneyard, just weeks before it was to scrapped. Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, which we were proud to support, the Commemorative Air Force was able to raise over $320,000 for a project to purchase "That's All Brother" and begin the long journey to returning the aircraft to flight.

  • Status: Private, Being Restored
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: Planned for 2019
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C47 Night Fright
C47 Night Fright
C47 Night Fright

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-100521) "Night Fright"

The C-47 42-100521 - known as "Night Fright" - was purchased by Philip and Charlie Walker of Walker Logistics in 2012. The Walker family purchase in the Membury Estate in 1993 and their interest in its wartime history led them to purchase the aircraft. Night Fright flew from Membury Airfield on D-Day as part of the 436th TCG, and suffered a number of hits during the night resulting in her being out of action for several days upon her safe return. Night Fright has now returned to the UK for restoration and return to flight.

  • Status: Private, Being Restored
  • Location: UK
  • Airworthy: Planned for TBA
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C47 Whiskey 7
C47 Whiskey 7
C47 Whiskey 7

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(43-30652) "Whiskey 7"

The C-47 known as "Whiskey 7" (in relation to its markings for the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron) is owned by the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, New York. She made the long journey from America to Normandy for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. She originally served with the 12th Air Force in the Mediterranean in 1943 and the 9th Air Force in England during 1944-1945 as part of the 316th Troop Carrier Group. On D-Day she dropped paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division into Normandy near Sainte-Mère-Église. She was the lead aircraft in the second wave.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: Yes
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C47 Drag 'Em Oot
C47 Drag 'Em Oot
C47 Drag 'Em Oot

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-100882) "Drag 'em Oot"

Delivered to the US Army Air Force in 1943, the C-47 bearing the serial number 42-100882 operated out of Greenham Common for the 87th Troop Carrier Squadron. Her name, best pronounced in a Scottish accent (or perhaps Canadian), refers to the ability she had to retrieve gliders by way of 'Snatch' mechanism. On D-Day, at around 46 minutes after midnight, she dropped 18 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division near Sainte-Mère-Église before returning on a second mission later in the day.

  • Status: Private, Restored
  • Location: UK
  • Airworthy: Yes
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C47 SNAFU Special
C47 SNAFU Special
C47 SNAFU Special

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(43-15073) "SNAFU Special"

This C-47 was rescued from Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina where she was grounded in 1994 by machine gun fire during the Balkan War. In 2007 a team from the Merville Battery managed to transport the aircraft back to Normandy where it had flown during D-Day, along with most of the other major airborne operations that followed. Originally delivered to the US Army Air Force in January 1944, SNAFU Special is listed as a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: France
  • Airworthy: No
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C47 Argonia
C47 Argonia
C47 Argonia

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-100825) "Argonia"

The resident C-47 Skytrain at the Airborne Museum in Sainte-Mère-Église dropped paratroopers on the night of 5th / 6th June and towed gliders later on D-Day. No longer airworthy, it was delivered to the museum in 1983 slung beneath a US Army helicopter. The museum makes excellent use of mannequins in and around the aircraft to great effect. Visitors can also look at the aircraft from above thanks to a viewing platform. She now wears the markings of "Argonia" (43-15159), but during the Battle of Normandy the aircraft had the tail number 42-100825.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: France
  • Airworthy: No
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C47 42-93096
C47 42-93096
C47 42-93096

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-93096) "096"

Built at the Douglas Aircraft Manufacturing plant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This aircraft was delivered to the US Army on 8th April, 1944. She was transferred to the European Theatre and arrived in England a month before Overlord. On D-Day she carried Pathfinders of 2nd Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. Like many of the other aircraft here she took part in Operation Market Garden over Holland, and she also participated in the Berlin Airlift. This C-47, known simply as "096", now resides in the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: No
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C47 Turf and Sport Special
C47 Turf and Sport Special
C47 Turf and Sport Special

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-92841) "Turf and Sport Special"

On display at the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Deleware in the United States, the "Turf and Sport Special" was rescued in 1986 and restored to its immaculate, present-day condition. It's markings are in those of the 61st Troop Carrier Squadron which it wore on the night of D-Day, dropping paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division in Normandy around Sainte-Mère-Église.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: No
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C47 Flying Dutchman PH-PBA
C47 Flying Dutchman PH-PBA
C47 Flying Dutchman PH-PBA

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-100971)

Now operated by Dutch organisation DDA Classic Airliners, this C47 arrived with 8th Air Force in the UK on January 11th 1944. In 1946 she became the first Dutch government aeroplane when she was purchased by H.R.H. Prince Bernhard - and registered as PH-PBA. She would remain in service for almost 30 years, working as a government aircraft until 1961 and thereafter to help calibrate landing and navigation systems. On D-Day she was part of the 44th Troop Carrier Squadron assigned to the 316th Troop Carrier Group, and dropped 82nd Airborne paratroopers of the 505th PIR on DZ 'O'.

  • Status: Private, Restored
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Airworthy: Yes
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C47 42-23310
C47 42-23310
C47 42-23310

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-23310)

At a cost of just under $110,000, this C-47 left the factory of the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California on 5th March 1943 with the serial number 9172. She is now operated by L'association France DC3, but on the evening of 6th June 1944 she was being flown by the 75th Troop Carrier Squadron, part of the 435th Troop Carrier Group. Taking part in the last airborne assault of D-Day, she was a glider tug alongside 175 other aircraft as part of Mission Elmira to reinforce the 82nd Airborne Division.

  • Status: Private, Restored
  • Location: France
  • Airworthy: Yes
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C47 Tico Belle
C47 Tico Belle
C47 Tico Belle

Douglas C-47A Skytrain

(42-100591) "Tico Belle"

The flagship aircraft of the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, "Tico Belle" flew American paratroopers from RAF Ramsbury to Normandy on 6th June, dropping men of the 82nd Airborne near Landing Zoe "O" in the vicinty of Sainte-Mère-Église. After the Battle of Normandy she particpated in Operations Dragoon, Market-Garden, the relief of Bastogne during the German Ardennes offensive and after the war took part in the Berlin Airlift. In 2019 "Tico Belle" will once again take to the skies above Europe participating in Daks Over Normandy.

  • Status: Museum, Restored
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: Yes
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C53 Painted Lady / Lulu Belle
C53 Painted Lady / Lulu Belle
C53 Painted Lady / Lulu Belle

Douglas C-53D Skytrooper

(42-68710) "Painted Lady"/"Lulu Belle"

The airframe of 42-68710 was one of 159 similar C-53D Skytrooper aircraft constructed. On D-Day, she was part of the 62nd Troop Carrier Squadron and dropped paratroopers of 2nd Battalion 508th PIR of the 82nd Airborne Division. After the war she was converted to a DC-3, and since 1988 the aircraft has been at Fremont Airport in Ohio. Her owner, Rex Damschroder, is attempting to restore the aircraft in time to fly it to France for the 75th Anniversary commemorations in 2019.

  • Status: Private, Under Restoration
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: Planned for 2019
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Spitfire ML407, the Grace Spitfire
Spitfire ML407, the Grace Spitfire
Spitfire ML407, the Grace Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IX / Tr.9

(ML407)

Known today as the "Grace Spitfire", ML407 was built at Castle Bromwich in early 1944 as a Mark IX single seat fighter. She flew with six different Allied Squadrons during the war on 176 operation combat sorites totalling almost 320 hours. On D-Day she was piloted by Flying Officer Johnnie Houlton DFC of 485 New Zealand Squadron. He is credited with the first enemy aircraft shot down over the Normandy beachhead on 6th June. In the 1950's the aircraft was converted by Vickers-Armstrong at Eastleigh to the two seat configuration for the Irish Air Corps as an advanced trainer.

  • Status: Private, Restored
  • Location: UK
  • Airworthy: Yes
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BBMF Spitfire MK356
BBMF Spitfire MK356
BBMF Spitfire MK356

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IXe

(MK356)

Built at Castle Bromwich in March 1944 with clipped wings optimised for low level flight, and fitted with a Merlin 66 engine, Spitfire LFIX MK356 flew its first operational mission on 14 April 1944 as part of a "Rodeo" fighter sweep over occupied France. MK356 was involved in fighter sweeps and in attacking ground targets by dive bombing and strafing in the lead-up to D-Day and in support of the landings and fierce fighting afterwards. After the war she served as a gate guardian at Hawkinge and Locking RAF bases, but was recovered and refurbished in 1992 for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

  • Status: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Restored
  • Location: UK
  • Airworthy: Yes
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Spitfire MK732
Spitfire MK732
Spitfire MK732

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IXc

(MK732)

The only airworthy Spitfire in the Netherlands, MK732 this Spitfire was built in early 1942 and issued to 485 (RNZAF) Squadron on the 25th April. It stayed in Squadron service until October 1944 when it passed to 1 CRU and then to 39 MU in January 1945. It was sold to the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1948. After many years in storage in returned to the UK in 1974 and became a source of spare parts for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. It was later returned to the Netherlands almost ended on the scrapheap. Luckily a group of Dutch enthusiasts found her and restored her back into flying condition.

  • Status: Private, Restored
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Airworthy: Yes
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B-26 Flak Bait
B-26 Flak Bait
B-26 Flak Bait

Martin B-26B Marauder

(41-31173) "Flak Bait"

Under extensive restoration at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, "Flak Bait" is an historic aircraft having survived 207 combat missions during its war service. Flying more missions than any other American plane in the World War 2, this aircraft flew two missions from the UK on D-Day and later operated from France and Belgium. This most meticulous of restoration projects is not expected to be fully completed until 2021, such is the high degree of detail and effort the Smithsonian has committed.

  • Status: Museum, Being Restored
  • Location: USA
  • Airworthy: No
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We are sure there are plenty more aircraft out there which survived missions over Normandy. If you know the details of any others that are not listed here, we wouldd love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us via Twitter or our Contact Us page.

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