The starting point for the D-Day Squadron‘s journey to Europe over the original “Blue Spruce” route to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy will be Waterbury-Oxford Airport (KOXC) in Oxford, Connecticut.
The squadron will take off for Normandy on May 19, but there will be a full week of activities to kick off the event, including a special Squadron fly-over of the Statue of Liberty, according to officials.
Aircraft and crews will arrive in Oxford on May 12, 2019, and spend a week practicing critical skills such as formation flying, survival skills training, ocean procedures, and European Union Operations Training.
On May 14, the entire D-Day Squadron will fly in formation from Oxford, up the Hudson River in New York, over Manhattan Island, and around the Statue of Liberty (weather permitting).
“It’s very likely we’ll never see an event like this again,” said Moreno Aguiari, director of marketing and public relations for the D-Day Squadron. “And it’s for a very good reason. There are only a few members of the Greatest Generation still with us, so we wanted to put together the most significant tributes we could to honor their sacrifice and commitment. These tributes will start here and then extend all the way across the Atlantic.”
After departing on May 19, 2019, the C-47s will stop to refuel in Goose Bay Airport (CYYR) in Newfoundland, Canada, Narsarsuaq Airport (BGBW) in southern Greenland, Reykjavik Airport (BIRK) in Iceland, and Prestwick Airport (EPIK) on the Western coast of Scotland before making the final leg to Duxford Airfield (EGSU) north of London.
Once arriving in Duxford, the D-Day Squadron will join with its European counterpart, Daks over Normandy, to participate in multiple events June 2-5. The combined fleet of historic aircraft will cross the English Channel on June 5, fly over Normandy, France, and participate in multiple events at Caen-Carpiquet Airport from June 5-9.
The D-Day Squadron is part of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. In June 2019, the D-Day Squadron will lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft in Daks Over Normandy, a fly-over of more than 30 international aircraft to drop 250 paratroopers over the original 1944 drop zones in Normandy commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.