Parachuting back to 1944
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, a group of enthusiasts plans to re-enact the parachute drops from C-47 Douglas Dakota aircraft that helped the allies secure key bridgeheads in the hours before the seaborne assault.
The Round Canopy Parachuting Team plans to assemble restored Dakotas from around the world to create what it describes as an “awesome spectacle” over the French skies. The effort will cost $750,000, and the RCPT has launched an appeal for funds.
The organisation is made up of 250 members from 14 countries – all parachutists who have trained using the same round canopies used in the war. They plan to land on dropzones wearing replica uniforms and “in the exact manner and discipline that paratroopers jumped into battle”.
The RCPT estimates that around 15 C-47s or DC-3s are flying in Europe and it wants to get as many as possible to the event, which will start with a fly-past on 3 June at the former HMS Daedalus air base in Hampshire, before the formation takes off for Normandy the next day. From 4-8 June the aircraft will be based at Cherbourg Maupertus airport, where the public will get a chance to see the C-47s at close quarters – and maybe fly in them too.
For details or to donate go to www.daksovernormandy.com
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Our Ladybird book of Cold War aircraft tells us it’s a Fairey Delta 2, but we’re happy to be corrected.
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