DALLAS, TX – “It was about to be destroyed forever,” Melissa Ogden, Chief Development Officer for Commemorative Air Force explained.
Rusting away in an aircraft bone yard in Wisconsin, sat one of the most notable planes in U.S. history.
“It was found by accident.”
A researcher for the 101st Airborne Division was doing research and noticed a serial number on the plane.
“And he realized that plane was still in existence.”
The C-47 isn’t just any old WWII aircraft, it’s the WWII aircraft.
“The plane at the time during the war was called That’s All Brother,” Ogden explains. “The reason that it’s so historically significant is because 10 minutes after midnight on June 6th, 1944, there was a massive formation of over 800 troop transport planes that dropped 13,000 paratroopers behind enemy lines in Normandy, and this was the lead plane; the tip of the spear. The name of the plane was a message to Adolf Hitler, with this, his invasion plans were done.”
The Commemorative Air Force jumped into action creating a Kickstarter campaign to save and restore the forgotten D-Day bird.
“We launched it yesterday and in less than 48 hours we’ve raised more than seventy five thousand dollars. The last time I looked it was 77,000 dollars.”
And it’s no surprise who’s donating to the cause.
“I got a gift from a guy who sent in 101 dollars in memory of a family member who had jumped with the 101st on Normandy,” Ogden said with a smile.
The old bird will get to stretch it’s shiny new wings with a new mission.
“We will be able to fly this plane around the country. Taking it to schools around the country. We’re going to use it as an amazing experiential education program. When you board we’ll darken the interior. They’ll be hidden sensors and speakers. You’ll feel like your actually flying through the night skies in Normandy.”
That’s All Brother will be based in Dallas at the CAF’s new national aviation museum. It’ll fly back to France in 2019 to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This time, the pane will bring a message of peace and hope.