Formation flyover missions continue for the D-Day Squadron as they complete final preparations this weekend to position six DC-3 (C-47) historic warbirds to the Truckee Tahoe community as a special gift for the local community – celebrating our nation’s independence and frontline healthcare workers fighting COVID. Called “Truckee Tahoe Honor Flyover,” it’s scheduled to begin at 11a.m. covering 18 targeted landmarks, including Lake Tahoe and is expected to finish by 12:30pm, stretching 130 nautical miles. The lead aircraft for this mission is Gooney Bird Group Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber C-47, piloted by U.S. Navy veteran Sherman Smoot and Scott Stelzle.
“Preparing for these special flyover missions is exhilarating. Most of all, we appreciate the opportunity to bring ‘flying history’ to communities near and far to salute veterans, commemorative events, Independence Day and in this case, healthcare workers on the frontlines fighting the COVID pandemic,” remarked mission group leader, Scott Stelzle.
As the pandemic continues to be a concern and for everyone’s safety, no public viewing or gathering is permitted at the Truckee Tahoe airport. Our squadron encourages local residents to #LookUp as these radial engines roar with honor, tribute and celebration. The C-47 was key to ending WWII and famously helped liberate German-occupied France by dropping pathfinders and paratroopers, even towing gliders during Operation Overlord on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Organized by the Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival committee along with the Truckee Tahoe Airport, our squadron C-47 type aircraft will have several additional warbirds join the ranks of this flyover, including T-6 Texans and a T-28.
No stranger to tight formation and historic tribute flights, the D-Day Squadron launched from Oxford, Connecticut’s KOXC airport on May 19, 2019 for their “Mission to Normandy.” They successfully crossed the North Atlantic with 15 C-47 type aircraft, completing multiple paratrooper drops and a Presidential flyover for the US and French First Families while participating in events including the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, and commemorations in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Italy spanning most of June 2019.
“While our 75th anniversary mission was epic, we’re honored to continue showcasing the very aircraft flown by and that carried our Greatest Generation,” shared Lyndse Costabile, director of corporate relations, communications and marketing, for the D-Day Squadron. “We look forward to showcasing ‘Flying Freedom’ to the Truckee Tahoe community this national holiday and bring hope to our frontline healthcare workers.”
The flight path graphic is forthcoming and will publish on the D-Day Squadron social media pages.
The Truckee Tahoe Honor Flyover features D-Day Squadron aircraft Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber C-47 leading D-Day Doll C-53 of the Commemorative Air Force’s Inland Empire Wing (IEW), Legend Foundation’s Legend ‘Liberty’ Airways C-47, Mission Boston, LLC’s Virginia Ann C-47, Benovia Winery’s Spirit of Benovia C-53, and What’s Up Doc C-47 of the Palm Springs Air Museum.