D-Day Squadron 2024 at Prestwick

Three C-47s of the D-Day Squadron returned to Prestwick on Wednesday May 22nd en route to their UK assembly point at North Weald. Unfortunately, the fine weather of earlier in the week had disappeared at Ayrshire was overcast and wet – not entirely unusual! The three veterans departed early afternoon the following day….still in the rain.

Placid Lassie Prestwick May 2019 Dakota Squadron Normandy
Placid Lassie, seen here at Prestwick in 2019, was the first aircraft of the D-Day Squadron to arrive. She had departed Presque Isle on the morning of May 19th 2024, arrived in Goose Bay at 15:19 on 19th and continued direct to Reykjavik the following day. After a day in Iceland, she took off at 08:40 Z on 22nd May for the five hour 19 minute flight to Prestwick, Scotland.
N74589 Placid Lassie Tunison D-Day Squadron Prestwick May 2024
First to arrive was the Tunison Foundation's 'Placid Lassie', N74589. After heading 'up the valley' over Mauchline on the downwind leg, she approached out of the murk and landed just before 15:00 BST
N74589 Placid Lassie Tunison Foundation Union Jack Dak Prestwick D-Day Squadron May 2024 N4589
'Placid Lassie' arrives at Prestwick on May 22nd 2024. The Tunison Foundation C-47 had been accompanied by Dynamic Aviation's N45D Super King Air on the 5 hour 19 minute flight from Reykjavik.
N74589 Placid Lassie Prestwick May 22 2024 Tunison Foundation D-Day Squadron
N74589 is no stranger to Atlantic crossings having originally traveled to the UK in 1943 with 74 Troop Carrier Squadron, 434th Troop Carrier Group, 53rd TC Wing. She took part in D-Day, flying from Aldermaston. In her post-war civilian life, the C-47 flew from New England to the UK for the 2010 air display season. She was also one of the prime aircraft on the 2019 D-Day Squadron tour.
N74589 Placid Lassie Prestwick May 22 2024 D-Day Squadron
Pilot Eric Zipkin had flown on the 2019 D-Day Squadron mission to Europe and, on the 2024 flight, he was accompanied by his son Luc Zipkin.
NC33644 Western Airlines N33644 C-47
Second to arrive was the magnificent DC-3A N33644, 25 minutes behind Placid Lassie. Delivered to United Airlines in 1941, she flew for many years with Western Airlines and is painted in that colour scheme along with original registration 'NC33644'.
Western DC-3A NC33644 Prestwick 22nd May 2024 D-Day Squadron 80th anniversary.
Although not a D-Day (or military) veteran, N33644 , serial number 4123, has had a long civilian career and was once scheduled to appear on the British register as G-APKO.
NC33644 Western Airlines DC-3A N33644 Prestwick Scotland 80th Anniversary D-Day
'Follow Me'. N33644 taxis past the Spirit Aviation hangar at Prestwick on May 22nd 2024 to join 'Placid Lassie'.
N47TB Thats all Brother Prestwick 22nd May 2024 D-Day Squadron
'Thats All Brother' was the third and last C-47 to arrive at Prestwick on May 22nd 2024. She was, in 1944, the leading USAAF C-47 of the main D-Day force heading for Normandy on the night of June 5th/ 6th. N47TB was one of the US-based C-47s which traveled to Europe in 2019 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
N47TB C-47
N47TB was rescued from the Basler facility at Oshkosh and extensively rebuilt before the 2019 expedition to Europe with the D-Day Squadron. She is owned by the American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum. Her flight to Prestwick from Reykjavik took 5 hours and 9 minutes with her landing at the Scottish Airport at 16:14 on May 22nd 2024.

Departure for North Weald on 23rd May.

NC33644 N33644 Western Airlines DC-3A Prestwick May 23 2024 D-Day Squadron
Western Airlines- liveried DC-3A N33644 was the first of the D-Day Squadron aircraft to depart Prestwick on May 23rd 2024.
DC-3A Western Airlines NC33644 N33644 Prestwick D-Day Squadron May 23rd 2024
N33644 lifts off on May 23rd 2024. The 1930's Californian technology performing well after 80+ years. In the background, a China Eastern Airbus A380 with a much shorter life expectancy.
N33644 DC-3A Western Airlines D-Day Squadron May 2024 Prestwick
Up and away: N33644 heads south towards North Weald.
N74589 Placid Lassie Tunison Foundation at Prestwick May 23 2024
Placid Lassie, N74589, of the Tunison Foundation was the next to depart Prestwick on May 23rd 2024, en route to North Weald in Essex.
Placid Lassie N74589 Prestwick May 23rd 2024 D-Day Squadron
Placid Lassie taxis out to take-off from Prestwick after a Ryanair 737.
N74589 Placid Lassie Prestwick May 2024
In many ways 'Placid Lassie' epitomises the D-Day Squadron missions to Europe in 2019 and 2024. The Tunison Foundation, owners of N74589, takes its name from S/Sgt Edward Tunison, Radio Operator on the C-47 in June 1944 when she was serialed 42-24064 with the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing.
N74589 Placid Lassie takes off Prestwick May 23 2024 D-Day Squadron
Before regaining her identity of 'Placid Lassie', N74589 was briefly known as the 'Union Jack Dak' as her restoration from a hulk in a Georgia field was masterminded by British financier James Lyle and English aviation engineer Clive Edwards.
N74589 Tunison Foundation's C-47 Placid Lassie on take-off Prestwick MAy 23 2024
Placid Lassie's Twin Wasps are christened 'Eager Eileen', in honour of Ed Tunison's wife, and 'Idling Ada' after the 1944 Crew Chief's wife.
N47TB 'That's All Brother' C-47 Prestwick D-Day Squadron May 23 2024
Once they had decided that the weather wasn't going to improve much, N33644 and N74589 were on their way to North Weald quite swiftly. N47TB, 'That's All Brother', took slightly longer to warm-up the Twin Wasps and head for the runway. Prestwick was treated to at least 30 minutes of radials before the crew were ready to go.
N47TB That's All Brother Prestwick Departure D-Day Squadron May 23 2024
The American Airpower Heritage Air Museum's fine C-47 N47TB. 'That's All Brother' has an amazing history behind her. Delivered to the USAAF as 42-92847 she was allocated to 87th Troop Carrier Squadron for D-Day, June 1944. Carrying 101st Airborne troops, she led the main D-Day armada. The C-47 also took part in Operation Dragoon, the liberation of Southern France, Operation Market Garden, relief missions during the Battle of the Bulge at the end of 1944 and the Rhine Crossing, Operation Varsity, in Spring 1945.
N47TB That's All Brother Prestwick May 23 2024
After demobilisation, 42-92847 saw service with many civilian operators across the USA from Oregon to Louisiana. Purchased by Basler in 2008, she spent many years sitting at Oshkosh as a potential client for conversion to turbo power. Discovered around 2015, enthusiasts were able to ensure that the aircraft which led D-Day was preserved as a radial engined C-47. Here the Prestwick rain is seen creating 'corkscrews' of water created by the propeller tips.

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