At a DC-3 reunion slated this month, The Last Time will host pilots of Douglas C-47s that flew in the D-Day invasion of Europe in World War II — and they will fly to the event in the very airplane that one of these gentlemen actually commanded on that fateful day.
Thousands of transport aircraft participated in the massive D-Day invasion, but very few remain today. Visitors to The Last Time event at Whiteside County Airport (SQI), in Rock Falls, Illinois, on July 23-26, will get the exclusive opportunity to see N5160X (pictured), Douglas C-47 serial number 42-32832, which flew with the 53rd Troop Carrier Squadron. The passengers on board will include a number of family members of veteran Don King, who piloted N5160X during Operation Overlord/Operation Neptune in the Allied invasion of France, as well as countless paratrooper and supply missions in the European theater. Also on board will be Gerald Parker and family members who flew another C-47 in the same formation as King during D-Day.
Scott Glover, operator of N5160X, admits that he was not very interested in genealogy before acquiring the airplane, but he’s now committed to uncovering as much of the airplane’s past as possible. “I’ve really gotten into the history of the airplane, the people and its crews. I didn’t know it was a General Motors airplane, I didn’t know it was a D-Day airplane, until I started digging deeper,” says Glover.
2010 marks the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the iconic Douglas DC-3 and what is likely to be the last time for a large reunion of aluminum and engines with the people that saw it all. The Last Time’s four-day reunion activities are free and open to the public, and general aviation aircraft parking and camping are available as well. All DC-3 aircraft will be parked together, and events include aircraft tours, public rides, demonstrations, entertainment and music, extensive hangar flying and storytelling by all those invited to share the DC-3 experience — and a mass formation fly-by sure to be a record-setting event. The mass formation flight will launch from Whiteside County Airport on the afternoon of Monday, July 26.
The Last Time is an organization created for the sole purpose of reuniting flying examples of the Douglas DC-3 and the people associated with them, for one last time. For more information: TheLasttime.org.