June 6, 2019 marked the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, which was celebrated and honored by roughly half a million people convening in Normandy from around the globe. In the US, our squadron of WWII- era DC3/C47 planes has formed, championed by people from across the country, who have invested thousands of hours to honor the great WWII generation and those who sacrificed their lives to protect the freedom of people worldwide.
The squadron members’ reasons for taking this trip and our backgrounds vary, but the intentions and this journey in 70+ year old airplanes united us. This documentary will feature some of the few remaining WWII veterans and the unique stories of the people and airplanes that traveled from the United States crossing the Atlantic and arriving in Normandy to honor veterans who fought D-Day and the historic events surrounding it.
The featured stories of the journey and its trials, with those beginning in the US and endingin Normandy, will include:
– The story of the plane, Placid Lassie, and the man and team who mounted and convinced others to join him for this historic expedition.
– The story of a town and their fight to get a their historic plane, Miss Montana, in shape and across the Atlantic in time for the D-Day anniversary.
– The story of an organization that serves at-risk youth in Riverside, California, their plane, Flabob Express, and how one man’s life was changed after finding aviation. After founding the program 17 years ago, Hualdo Mendoza will be flying and crewing the Flabob Express to Normandy.
– The story of veterans, who fought for the US following World War II, their journey to Normandy on the plane, D- Day Doll, and their desire to connect with fellow veterans on this commemorative trip to Normandy.
– The story of man who purchased and the men piloting the plane, Spirit of Benovia. The plane was purchased in honor of the owner’s father and uncles, who served in WWII and is captained by pilots, who are openly gay.
– The story of two brothers, whose parents both served in WWII, and the plane, PanAm. This includes the story of one brother, who lost his leg in an aviation accident last year and his journey to be re-certified in time to make this trip.
Director/ Producer: Adrienne Hall
Executive Producer: Joe Anderson
Director of Photography: Mecky Creus
Additional Camera: Hunter Nolan and Gail Jenkinson