Dakota over Normandy
Gooneybird N47SJ was built in Oklahoma in 1944 and contributed to the war effort in ‘Operation Market Garden’ and the ‘Battle of the Bulge’.
Further, N47SJ participated in the Berlin Airlift.
Her name, “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber,” pays tribute to the wife of aircraft museum owner, and Gooney Bird Group co-founder, Glen Thompson, and to the aircraft's role in dropping supplies to troops.
Douglas C-47B Dakota
San Luis Avionics is proud to be assisting with the ongoing restoration of the 1943 Douglas C-47B “Dakota”, named “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber”.
The Dakota has led a busy life. In September 1944 this C-47 was delivered to the USAAF and flew with the 9th Air Force, 302nd Air Transport Wing during World War II.
She was then loaned to the Belgian Air Force in 1946.
In 1952 she was returned to serve in the newly named ‘United States Air Force’.
She was then loaned to the French Air Force in 1953, followed by being loaned to the Israeli Air Force in 1967.
She next flew to England, in October 1943, and was assigned to the 9th Air Force, 302nd Air Transport Wing, 27th Air Transport Group. She saw continued service with the air forces of Belgium, France, and Israel, and finally landed in Canada.
After sitting inactive for six-years, a group from Paso Robles went to Canada and was able to fly the C-47 to the Paso Robles. Prior to leaving Canada, the C-47 had a total of 9,420 hours. She was returned to flight status on August 1, 2009.
San Luis Avionics is proud to be involved in with preparation for the C-47 to participate in the upcoming 75th Anniversary of D-Day at Normandy, France
'Daks over Normandy’ is a once in a lifetime event. Not since World War II have as many Douglas DC-3/C-47's been assembled in one location.
On the 6th of June 2019 all these aircraft flew in formation across the English Channel for an airborne parachute drop over the original 1944 drop zones.
June the 6th 1944 (D-Day) marks the date on which almost 160,000 allied troops stormed the Normandy beaches to start the liberation of Western-Europe.
The assault was preceded by 24,000 troops who parachuted in or came by glider. The most important aircraft to support the airborne assault was formed by over 800 Douglas C-47 Skytrains (Dakotas).
The DC-3 / Dakota’s winged work-horses carried the brunt of all men into battle across the English Channel and may well be called the 'Unsung Heroes'.