Along with thousands of others I went over to Beachy Head today to watch a special tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The event was entitled Daks Over Normandy & involved a formation of DC-3, C-47 & C-53 from all over the World including the D-Day Squadron from the USA. I didn't manage to count them all but there were more than 35 aircraft involved. More details here --> https://www.daksovernormandy.com
The weather was grey & overcast but at least it didn't rain. The take-off from Duxford was delayed for a couple of hours but it was well worth waiting for. We picked the right spot as they flew right over our heads. What a fantastic sight & sound. Well Done to everyone involved!
Here's a few photos which don't do it justice. The first one shows the first part of the formation, a group of 10 Daks escorted by a couple of Beech 18s & Texans. The others followed in smaller flights with a couple of stragglers bringing up the rear.
The 5th of June I was at the dropping zone and it was a complete mess. The dropping was planned for 16.30, but nothing happened. Nobody knew anything and 8000 people were waiting there. Finally (!) at 19.15 hours 13 (!) Dakotas appeared and started dropping. No sanitary provisions for those thousands... There were Americans from Virginia who had waited till 18.00 hours and then had to leave because their bus had to go. Imagine, you come all that way, pay hundreds of dollars and then miss what you came for.... As it was cold, cloudy and sometimes raining a lot of people had already left. The DAKS flew over line astern 3 times and that was it. No greetings to all those who had waited there for hours in the cold wind and rain.... The day after D-Day we planned to go to the Caen airport, us was promised that there should be a shuttlebus to bring us there, we waited with a couple of hundred for 3 hours, again in the cold wind and raindrops, no bus appeared. The airport was absolutely inaccesable, for all the roads were blocked, by traffic or the police. I wanted to buy some merchandising, but deceided to buy it on the website. Payed for it and am still waiting for my T-shirts. The organisation is not responding on my emails, nor is the Dutch address where I wrote to. The most rotten organised event I've ever been.