A Dakota and 2 Spitfires flew from North Weald Airfield on 4 June 2019 to take part in the 75th commemoration of D-Day.
75th commemoration of D-Day
A veteran Douglas Dakota “Drag ‘em Oot” and 2 Spitfires NH341 “Elizabeth”and TD314 “St George” left North Weald Airfield to join the D-Day Squadron, a fleet of veteran Dakotas flying to Normandy on 6 June.
‘Drag ‘em Oot’ is named after its role as a glider recovery equipped aircraft. It is a genuine Normandy and Arnhem veteran and has 40+ bullet holes as testimony!
D-Day, code name Operation Overlord, took place on 6 June 1944 remains the largest military invasion in history and was the pivotal action to liberate continental Europe from Nazi occupation during World War 2.
An amazing day
Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Richard Bassett flew out of North Weald as a passenger on the DC3 and described it as ‘an amazing day’.
“The DC-3, or Dakota as it was better known, was one of those dropping paratroopers on D-Day. Sitting in the DC3 you can only imagine what was going through the troopers’ minds as they were flying out to Normandy.”
“Flying along with the Spitfires, one on each side as escorts, cannot be described but the pictures will remain with me forever. These planes were on their way to the D-Day commemoration in France of all those brave men who gave so much. Later this year these planes will be based at North Weald at Aero Legends.”
This event was organised by Aero Legends a new company to North Weald which provides vintage flight experiences.
Founded in 2014 at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent by Keith Perkins, Aero Legends plans to operate its WW2 aircraft from North Weald later this year on a permanent basis.
Members of the public were welcomed to the event and were able to get up close to the aircraft and meet the pilots.