D-Day Squadron | 2024 Legacy Tour
Join the D-Day Squadron on the 2024 Legacy Tour, honoring our WWII veterans throughout Europe. As a DC-3 operator, express your interest by completing the form below. Your participation is crucial for planning logistics and engaging with international contacts. Expect to hear from Eric Zipkin, our chief pilot, and director of operations, soon.
On June 6, 1944, more than 11,000 aircraft were mobilized as Allied forces began a massive land, sea, and air invasion now known as D-Day. In 2019, 15 legendary DC-3 type aircraft made a historic North Atlantic crossing to celebrate both the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. Featured on the international stage and in media across the world, the men and women of the D-Day Squadron touched tens of thousands of lives as they flew to honor the world’s Greatest Generation.
Building on these accomplishments, the D-Day Squadron (DDS) is coordinating a fleet of aircraft to fly to Europe in 2024 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion and the 75th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. In mid-May 2024, DC-3 variants representing World War II and Cold War vintage aircraft will ‘cross the pond’ from the United States to the United Kingdom, cross the English Channel to Normandy, France, then fly on to Berlin, Germany, and beyond.
This is no easy task, and while nothing can compare to the amount of organization the Allied forces faced in planning for the D-Day invasion, there is still a tremendous amount of preparation, time, and cost involved in recreating this historic anniversary tour. The DDS is currently setting the schedule, organizing appearances across Europe, and serving as Mission Control for the 2024 Legacy Tour – a central unit for all operators, crew, and operations.
D-Day is often known historically as the beginning of the end of WWII. Our duty is to remember the significance of this event and to ensure that future generations never forget. Today, the D-Day Squadron's mission continues, to perpetuate the sights and sounds of “Flying Freedom,” and to promote the legacy of the Greatest Generation and the Douglas DC-3s in which they flew.
Start-up costs for the 2024 Legacy Tour branding and design, mission operation and planning, campaign management, and advanced logistics in Europe are significant, and we invite you to help us ‘get off the ground’. With your support, we will honor the sacrifice of the citizen soldiers who bravely fought to end WWII and combat the tyranny of the Cold War.
A portion of the Kickstarter funds will cover the cost of the 2024 Legacy Tour campaign graphics, merchandise, swag, and apparel - which will be added to the perks and revealed on June 6, 2023. All profits received after campaign costs will go directly to the D-Day Squadron.
This effort is dubbed the “2024 Legacy Tour.” With many WWII veterans having ‘flown west’ since the D-Day Squadron’s 2019 mission, 2024 will be an opportunity to focus on both the LEGACY of these WWII veterans and the legendary aircraft that served as the backbone to multiple war campaigns. “Our veterans are our window to the past, and this is a chance for us to continue honoring those who made sacrifices for the freedoms we have today,” shared D-Day Squadron’s mission chief pilot, Eric Zipkin. Eric will fly the lead C-47, WWII combat veteran, “Placid Lassie” throughout the entire journey.
Starting from the Northeast United States in May of next year, the aircraft must complete six total flight legs to Europe involving crew rest, refueling, proper maintenance, formation planning, and logistics. Can you imagine? It will take the squadron 15 days, close to 3,000 nautical miles, approximately 15 hours of flight time, 120 gallons of oil, more than 1,400 gallons of fuel, and 150 crew to make this historic transatlantic crossing!
This is your chance to celebrate these amazing, historic aircraft, and ensure a proper launch effort and a safe journey for their crews!