A World War II veteran C-47 Skytrain flew 3,600 miles from New York to recreate the airdrop it led over Normandy, France, on D-Day 70 years ago. Volunteers flew “Whiskey Seven” from a grass strip in Geneseo, N.Y., hopping from Canada, via Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland, arriving at Ramstein AB, Germany, two weeks later on May 26, according to a base release. In the wee hours of June 6, 1944, Whiskey Seven led the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron—forbearer of Ramstein’s 37th Airlift Squadron—dropping elements of the 82nd Airborne Division behind German lines over Sainte-Mère-Église, France. After the stopover at Ramstein, the volunteer crews will drop re-enactors over the same drop-zone for the 70th anniversary D-Day commemoration next week, according to the release. In 1944, unit aircraft flew from RAF Cottesmore, England. Today, the 37th AS flies C-130Js. (See also a New York Times report on flight preparations.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.