How Did We Get There?

D-Day Squadron > How Did We Get There?
The North Atlantic Route

How exactly does a vintage, restored aircraft from World War II make it safely across the ocean to Europe?

The D-Day Squadron, made up of the entire American fleet of C-47s, departed and traveled together on what’s known as a Blue Spruce Route. This flight plan traversed the North Atlantic, allowing for fuel stops and guidance from ground-based navigational aids on the landmasses located along the route. Each site was selected because of its history as an active airfield during World War II that would have been a stopping point for these historic aircraft.

The Squadron departed from Oxford, Connecticut (KOXC); stopped to refuel in Goose Bay Airport (CYYR) in Newfoundland, Canada; refueled at Narsarsuaq Airport (BGBW) in southern Greenland; refueled at Reykjavik Airport (BIRK) in Iceland; and refueled a final time at Prestwick Airport (EPIK) on the Western coast of Scotland.

The fleet made the next leg of this epic trip with a jaunt to Duxford Airfield (EGSU), north of London, where they positioned themselves with the entire international C-47 fleet for the final leg to Caen-Carpiquet Airport (LFRK) in Normandy, France as part of the Daks Over Normandy event on June 5, 2019.

President Trump and French President Macron, first ladies, watched from the Normandy American Cemetery as 13 (plus one USAF C-130) C-47 aircraft flew in formation as a special ‘presidential’ flyover of the cemetery and Five Beaches. This flyover was led by D-Day Squadron mission chief pilot, Eric Zipkin, of Placid Lassie (D-Day Veteran aircraft). 

Warbird aircraft – flown in World War II at home or abroad – are meticulously maintained by a ground crew of certified aircraft mechanics that follow strict FAA standards. Pilots in command must also have a specialty type-rating to fly these vintage aircraft. They are safely operated and flown on a regular basis for pleasure, sport, entertainment and remembrance all around the world.

Join us and support our post “Mission to Normandy” efforts. Your donation supports the recovery of our fleet, and ongoing work to honor our WWII veterans through various expos, airshows and flyovers annually. 

Make your donation today!