Member Spotlight: Eileen Owsiany
feature written by Eileen Owsiany, member
As an aviation enthusiast the C-47 has always been my favorite airplane! I would go to airshows and see this beautiful plane sitting quietly in the shadows of the more famous P-51s and B-17s, but I was drawn to this warrior that so many people overlooked. I was soon to learn she had an even more impressive story to tell. In a quest to learn more about the Skytrain, I did some research and was truly impressed by her service history. I knew there had to be more people in love with this plane then just me, so I decided to create a Facebook Group; Fans of the C-47 Skytrain. The rest is history!
The group has brought together people from all over the world with the same passion. It’s connected groups working on restorations, to exchange information. It’s helped the children and grandchildren of veterans to find information about the planes their loved ones flew in. We have some amazing historians in the group whose knowledge is invaluable. I learned so much about the plane and its versatility, but more so about the veterans that flew her. Ultimately the group’s aim is “To preserve the history and legacy of the C-47 Skytrain while honoring those who flew, maintained, and were delivered by her.”
As a group we have raised funds to maintain our fun activities. We have such a passionate group that we raised so much money that we were able to give back to the community. We made donations in the group name to: The S.N.A.F.U. Special, Gruesome, Night Fright, Beach City Baby, Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, and the Air Mobility Command Museum (Turf & Sport Special).
For me being a member of the DC-3 Society is another way to promote the aircraft and the veterans while helping to preserve the amazing history she represents. We must ensure her history and the stories of those who flew her and jumped from her are never forgotten. Meeting the veterans and spending time with them has been the most rewarding experience for me. You cannot put into words the honor it was to fly in That’s All Brother sitting next to my friend, 82nd AB veteran George Shenkle, especially when it was the first time he had flown in a C-47 since he jumped into combat. This is why we do what we do, to honor these heroes and keep the history alive.
Photo Caption: Top photo Eileen with George Shenkle in That's All Brother at the AMC Museums Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day at Dover AFB. Bottom Photo: In S.N.A.F.U. Special at the Merville Battery, in France