Take a Flight Back in Time with American Airpower Museum’s Douglas C-47

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D-Day Living History Flight Experiences September 2nd!

AAM’s WWII Douglas C-47 in flight over Long Island’s South Shore.

American Airpower Museum proudly announces another Douglas C-47 “Skytrain” D-Day Living History Flight Experiences event on Saturday, September 2, 2023 (Sep. 3 rain date).  In a one-of-a-kind immersive educational program, AAM’s C-47 troop transport will conduct four flights where Living Historians show passengers what 101st and 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers experienced on their incredible 1,200-plane D-Day assault.  Noted World War II Living Historian Robert Scarabino, with help from his 101st Airborne Reenactors, will transport passengers back in time to that fateful day in history.

Stories of our nation’s “Greatest Generation,” heroes of the Normandy D-Day Invasion, are being retold to a new generation of Americans.  AAM takes the next step and turns these events into teachable moments or “living history,” where passengers feel, hear, see and smell how it was on that “Night of Nights,” when the June 6, 1944 D-Day Invasion was launched, or on the daytime “Operation Market Garden” airdrop into Holland from September 17 to 27, 1944.

Living Historians and passengers line up and board AAM’s WWII Douglas C-47 Skytrain Second Chance (Contributed photos)

AAM has created a totally unique experience to honor our heroic C-47 troop transport crews and paratroopers.  Passengers are issued M-1942 jump jackets, helmets and harnesses, take part in an authentic mission briefing, then “form up” with AAM’s professional reenactors in full WWII 101st Airborne gear.  Next, passengers and reenactors board AAM’s C-47 Skytrain, just like America’s heroes did 79 years ago, when they risked all to liberate occupied Europe from the Nazi scourge.

On board the C-47, passengers feel and hear the aircraft’s mighty twin engines firing up, then she taxis to the runway and takes off from Republic Airport, heading for Long Island’s South Shore.  During flight, they observe the pilots operating their cockpit controls and paratroopers prepping for battle.  They’ll relive the Airborne experience up to the very moment when orders are given to hook up to the overhead static line.  Upon returning from this exciting flight, all will learn what our heroes did 79 years ago, when they helped achieve victory for the allies, culminating in the Nazi surrender.  (Each Living History experience is about 1.5 hours long and the actual flight time to Long Island’s South Shore and back is about 20 minutes.)

AAM’s four C-47 flights are from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  You can book seats by visiting AAM’s website at www.americanairpowermuseum.org and clicking “C-47 D-Day Living History Flight Experience.”  Or call (516) 531-3950, (631) 454-2039 or visit AAM’s gift shop Wednesday through Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735.  An added plus is that each passenger may bring an extra guest at no charge, to watch the flights plus tour AAM’s exhibits all day.

The public is invited to visit AAM’s Hangar 3 all day on September 2nd, so you can watch each flight and tour AAM’s exhibits (tickets and pre-registration not required).  In that case, regular admission is free for members, $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and veterans, $10 for children ages 5-12 and free for children ages 4 and under.

The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport aircraft developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3 airliner.  It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II.  Affectionately dubbed “Second Chance,” AAM’s iconic C-47 was built in 1944 and supplied to the U.S. Army Air Force.  She was transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1945 and flew in the Berlin Airlift (1948 – 1949) with the RAF, serving until 1950.  The aircraft next served in the Belgian Air Force for two years.  In 1952 she went to the French Air Force, serving two years in Viet Nam, as well as in India, Algeria, Morocco and the Congo.  In 1967 she was sold to Israel and flew in the Israeli Defense Force for 32 years.  AAM acquired the aircraft in 2000.  In addition to AAM’s popular D-Day reenactment flights, she also performs at regional air shows in classic WWII D-Day markings with the original “D8” code.  One of the last C-47s still in stock military configuration, this aircraft has just over 17,000 hours in the air, one of the world’s lowest flight times ever!

This is a family-friendly program for all ages and a wonderful way to educate young Americans about WWII and how U.S. military veterans fought to defeat Nazi Germany and defend our freedom.  Support AAM’s mission to honor veterans and military aviation history by helping maintain and preserve the Museum’s iconic aircraft.  Help “Keep ‘Em Flying!”

“American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport is Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum.”

The American Airpower Museum is an aviation museum located on the landmarked former site of Republic Aviation at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY.  The Museum maintains a collection of aviation artifacts and an array of aircraft spanning the many years of the aircraft factory’s history.  The Museum is a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Educational Foundation Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents.

–Submitted by Robert F. Salant

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