Daks over Normandy – DC-3s Visit Duxford

The Imperial War Museum at Duxford near Cambridge was humming to the sound of radial piston engines on 4th and 5th June as one of the largest gatherings of Douglas DC-3 and C-47 aircraft gathered for the Daks Over Normandy event.

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944, the aircraft came together from across Europe and the US and went on to fly across the English Channel to Normandy, overflying the beaches where the landings took place and gathering at Caen Airport for a similar event.

I travelled down to Duxford to take in the gathering, being a big fan of vintage airliners.

The journey was slightly frustrating, taking nearly two hours to cover the last ten miles into the car parks as all the local roads became gridlocked with the thousands of visitors (who had all pre-booked tickets and parking, so it’s not like Duxford were unaware how many were coming!).

Once inside the crowds were huge, and the lineup of DC-3s impressive. But here came the second disappointment – the aircraft were all well away from the public, which was good for getting clean photographs, but bad for those who wanted to get up close and personal to these historic machines – some of which actually took part in D-Day.

The third disappointment was the lack of any scenic flights onboard the DC-3 aircraft. This would have been a nice touch, and the website hinted that it would be possible.

That being said, it was great to see nearly 30 aircraft gathered and various air displays happening throughout the two days with the aircraft.

Finally, all of the aircraft departed en masse to Normandy on the afternoon of 5th June. It was an awesome sight and sound!

While there, it was a chance to have another look at Duxford’s excellent collections of some of the world’s most historic aircraft. I’ll write a separate post about that, and the scenic Dragon Rapide flight I took.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the aircraft that took part.

The world’s only flying Lisunov Li-2 Russian variant of the DC-3.

 

Here’s a list of participating aircraft which came to Duxford:

F-AZOX DC-3 Chalair
HA-LIX Li-2 Malev
LN-WND C-53D “Little Egypt” Dakota Norway
N62CC C-47 “Virginia Ann”
N103NA C-47 “Flabob Express”
N147DC C-47
N150D C-47
N18121 DC-3A Polished metal
N24320 DC-3 “Miss Montana” Johnson Flying Service
N25641 DC-3A “Liberty” Legend Airways
N33611 DC-3 “Clipper Tabitha May” Pan American
N341A C-41A
N431HM DC-3 Swissair
N45366 C-53D “D-Day Doll” USAF
N473DC C-47 “Drag ’em Oot”
N47E C-47A “Miss Virginia”
N47SJ C-47 “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber”
N74589 C-47 “Placid Lassie”
N8336C C-53DO “The Spirit of Benovia” Civil Air Transport
N877MG DC-3 Pan American
N47TB C-47 “That’s All Brother”
OH-LCH DC-3A Finnish Airlines
OY-BPB DC-3 “Gamle Dame”
SE-CFP DC-3 Scandinavian Airlines

 

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10 Responses

  1. Daniel Stanislaus Martel says:

    Dear Matt,

    Must have been a halcyon day for you!

    Kindly remember all those who gave their life for the freedom of our ancestors!

    Daniel

  2. Joe Rees says:

    Thanks for the pictures,,,,hope Duxford get it ready for the 100th think they have a little time.

  3. Craig Johnson says:

    Matt,
    Thanks for the great pictures and article (on my birthday). I enjoy reading about things that are older than me!

  4. Matt Falcus says:

    Happy Birthday Craig!

  5. Robin Drinkwater says:

    There was up close access to three of them on Wednesday for several hours, extended due to the delayed departure. I understood that they wanted to offer scenic flights but that the CAA wouldn’t grant the necessary permissions!
    Thought the USAF flypast by the six C130 and six Ospreys was impressive. Things were a bit slow at times, perhaps could have had a few more items in the flying program but the delayed departure didn’t help them but overall a great day, well done the organisers

  6. MERVYN CROWE says:

    Hi Matt, thank you for the great photos, but what a shame as not a British entrant in the line up, almost a national shame ! Hopefully most of the American aircraft will stay in the UK for a while and you will be able to have a closer look and maybe go for a trip.
    We were at Duxford last September for a full day, what a terrific display of aircraft there indeed.
    Merv Perth, Australia.

  7. G Symington says:

    I am puzzled by this list of Daks that “came to Duxford”.Is it your notes,made first hand at the event?
    ‘The Duchess of Dakota” and “Luck of the Irish” were both invited but I can find no other evidence that either attended.
    Also,N473DC remained at North Weald and did not participate as far as I know.
    ‘N25651’ should read N25641
    ‘N88874’ had N47TB painted on it.Is the former a pi?

  8. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the great photos! I think N534BE did not attend (maybe confusing with N150D?); and I’m also unsure about N836M. I think their were 23 DC-3/C-47/Li-2 derivatives at Duxford. Happy to be corrected.

  9. Trevor says:

    Also maybe N88874 ‘That’s all Brother’ (which did attend) is confused with N473DC (which I must confess I didn’t see) as they have similar 3X nose code. Happy to be corrected.

  1. June 7, 2019

    […] Remember, you can read my report and see the pictures here: https://www.airportspotting.com/daks-over-normandy-dc-3s-visit-duxford/ […]

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