The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre’s resident C-47 Dakota, N473DC Drag 'em oot was visited by a second D-Day veteran Dakota on 23 May 2014, when N74589 dropped in for a brief visit whilst en route from Coventry to Duxford - both aircraft later departed for the Cambridgeshire airfield’s D-Day commemorative airshow. This occasion is also notable as the first time since USAF Strategic Air Command SC-47 operations in the 1950s that multiple examples of the type have been seen on the ground at East Kirkby.
Previously known by her restoration team as the Union Jack Dak, the beautifully presented N74589 departed the USA on 6th May, and as the 6th June approaches she will operate from Lee-on-Solent, alongside other examples of the C-47 in events and ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
N74589 was delivered to the United States Army Air Corps (USAAF) in 1942 as 42-24064. After delivery to Baer Field, near Fort Wayne, Indiana the aircraft was assigned to the 434th Troop Carrying Group (TCG), 74th Troop Carrying Squadron (TCS). After a lengthy Atlantic crossing via Puerto Rico, Brazil, Senegal, Morocco and finally around Spain, the unit arrived at Aldermaston, England, during February 1943 and immediately commenced training operations.
42-24064’s participation in D-Day commenced during the early hours of 6 June 1944 when, along with the rest of her unit, she towed WACO CG-4A gliders to landing zones in Normandy. It is also thought 42-24064 participated in the dropping of paratroopers during the second invasion wave. Dozens of support and transport missions were later flown in support of the Allied invasion and the subsequent broad front push across the European low counties. During the Battle of the Bulge 42-24064 logged further combat sorties, dropping reinforcements and supplies to the besieged town of Bastogne.
For more a look at Drag 'em oot's history, please click HERE.
N74589 / 42-24064
N473DC / 42-100882 Drag ‘em oot