WW II Pathfinder pilot Lt. Col. David Hamilton (97) returned to the British airfield from which he and fellow pilots launched their pre-invasion strike on June 5, 1944. Hamilton’s visit to former RAF North Witham in Lincolnshire, England, on June 2, Was part of the activities surrounding the 75th anniversary D-Day.
Lt Colonel David Hamilton's return trip from Arizona, was entirely supported by the CAF from USA and local in country assistance from UK CAF members. The visit to the old WW2 airfield near Grantham, Was hosted by the South-Kesteven Council, whom arranged formal honour guards from active service Airmen and Military personnel Both USAF, and RAF , as well as formal reception and memorial unveiling. Lt Col Hamilton was interviewed by many Press , TV and Radio stations including BBC, and US network channels.
The visit was part of the memorial pilgrimage back to Normandy France to commemorate the sacrifices of D-Day. Special thanks to the Pilots and Crew of the CAF inland Empire Wing C53 Dakota, for providing the surprise flypast above the original runway that David left from in his pathfinder C47 on June 5th 75 years Prior. (Pictured in Jeep Left- Lt Col (Ret) David Hamilton, Col CAF (UK) Duncan Aran, Mr Moreno Aguiari (US) co-ordinator D-Day Squadron)
"D-Day doll "flew with the "D-day squadron" (15 x C47 Planes from across the entire USA) , to re-trace the exact routes flown in WW2 across the Atlantic air bridge from the east coast of America to the West coast of Scotland, via Iceland and Greenland. A fantastic tribute to the thousands of men and machines who undertook that same journey in WW2 in the defence of freedom. "D-Day Doll "made the return trip, all the way from Riverside California, so was one of the furthest travelled Dakotas , having flown more than 3 Thousand miles across the entire USA just to reach the east coast jump off point at Oxford Connecticut.
For more information of the CAF "D-Day Doll", please visit their site at: www.inlandempirecaf.com
"Thats all Brother" One of the most famous and historically significant C47 Dakota's in the world., owned and operated by the CAF Central Texas wing from San Marcos Texas, flew with the CAF component of the D-Day Squadron back to Normandy for the 75 th anniversary. After many years and a Multi million dollar effort to restore the original lead ship of the D-Day invasion fleet and rescue her from the scrap heap, CAF members from around the world, and funding from entirely voluntary donations and sponsors saw "That's All Brother" lead the memorial D-Day squadron from Duxford UK, on the return flights to Normandy. For further information on the CAF "Thats all brother" and Central Texas wing please visit.www.centraltexaswing.org
CAF planes along with other privately restored and operated C47 planes, from around the world met at Duxford Cambridgeshire UK, for the jump off event to commemorate the airborne component of D-Day memorial flights. The "Daks over Normandy" event at Duxford saw the largest gathering of C47 transport planes in the world, since WW2. Many of the planes were original D-Day veterans themselves, including both CAF planes which both saw active service in WW2 including D-Day and subsequent missions in support of numerous campaigns, D-Day break out and liberation of Paris, Market Garden, Operation Varsity, Battle of the Bulge, Berlin Airlift etc
UK members of CAF assisted the CAF HQ and CAF crews, members from across the pond, The D-Day Squadron and returning veterans with in country logistics and behind the scenes work to ensure the entire CAF team mission to provide a once in a lifetime fitting tribute to the brave airmen of D-day was a success for the UK leg of "Daks over Normandy", at Duxford.
For more activities of the CAF D=Day Squadron planes Click Here.
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The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is a 501 (c) 3 Texas non-profit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft. The organization's headquarters offices are based in Dallas, Texas, at Dallas Executive Airport. At this time the organization has more than 11,000 members and has a fleet of more than 175 World War II aircraft. CAF United Kingdom is a UK based branch of the Worldwide CAF organisation.
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