Wednesday, June 6, 2018

D-Day

I don't know if I've ever posted about D-Day. So many others do it far better than I can, so I generally let observances of this nature pass by without posting.

Two things are different this year. One, the C-47 "That's All, Brother" finished it's restoration and is flying again. She WILL be in France next year for the 75th anniversary.


This was the lead aircraft for the paratroops that went in, and when I found out about, I started donating to it's restoration. The history of the aircraft is similar to a lot of other WWII veteran aircraft, and makes for very interesting reading at the link. I guess my Engineer's background as a hardware guy makes me want to help preserve the machines we used to win WWII, so when something like "That's All, Brother", or "Fifi", or the Iowa comes along, I donate to them so we can keep these important artifacts around.

The other thing I found out is that one of my Dad's brothers was one of the paratroops that went in shortly after midnight, well before the main force hit the beach.

He never talked about it.......

So, in grateful respect of those who served so long ago, thank you all, and God Bless.

8 comments:

  1. There was a ex airborne veteran who jumped on D-Day and later was a POW in our company, circa 1965. He never talked about it. The only way anyone knew was the one or two times a year he had to stand formation in Class As.

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    1. I never understood why almost all of the WWII vets I knew growing wouldn't talk about it until I got older, and some of my friends came back from 'Nam.

      Then I started to understand....

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  2. Amen... If that old bird could only talk...

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    1. Really! Every time I went to an air show with WWII aircraft I always wondered the same thing.

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  3. I'm very pleased to hear that she's being restored.

    Restoring war birds always brings a ray of sunshine into my heart.

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    1. She's finished and flying again, and will be in France for the 75th.

      I used to hang around the Planes Of Fame museum in Chino. I volunteered for a while there right after I moved to Kalifornia.

      I never worked on any aircraft other than to pass tools and help clean up, but it was worth every minute of my time. The commute from Torrance/Lomita to Chino was a killer though.

      To walk up to these historic aircraft and touch them was a powerful feeling....

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  4. I love to hear about historic aircraft being preserved. There are few enough of them left around.

    I went through the Army's Airborne course at Fort Benning in the summer of 1973. I was a reluctant "volunteer." It was one of those "all those who don't want to volunteer, take one step forward." Still, it was an experience. I don't think I would have cared to be a paratrooper going into Normandy. The scenes from "Band of Brothers" about Normandy killed any ardor I may have felt for that! More power to the guys who did it, like Gunga Din, they were better men than me. ;-)

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    1. There's TWO, count 'em, TWO B-29's left in flying condition out of the 3,970 built, and 26 in museums.

      My current experience restoring old military things is limited to one battleship, but the process is very similar. Finding parts is the hardest.

      I've worn a parachute before when I flew in a light aircraft with the doors off, and I didn't like it a bit. The only thing worse was when I flew some photo missions for Sea Launch in the Twin Huey they leased the last five launches. I was well harnessed in, and flying with both side doors off trying to get some good shots was NOT a pleasant flying experience!

      I did it, but never again.

      The Boeing photographer was hanging out the side like a monkey, and even that made me pretty queasy....

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Keep it civil, please....