Placid Lassie Leads the Way!

Mission to Normandy and the 75th Anniversary of D-day

The Tunison Foundation’s Placid Lassie was the lead C-47 aircraft of the D-day Squadron a fleet of 15 C-47 aircraft who flew from the U.S. to Normandy to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. Prior to departing for Europe, the D-day Squadron gathered in Oxford CT, for a week of preparation including formations flights, cold-water survival training, weather briefings and a celebratory pre-trip dinner. On May 19, 2019, the squadron departed for Prestwick Scotland, crossing the north Atlantic a 9,000 feet. Refueling stops were made in Goose Bay Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland. The weather cooperated! From Scotland, the squadron flew to Duxford U.K. and the Imperial War Museum for several days prior to crossing the English Channel for Normandy on June 5, 2019. The photos below document our journey from the USA to the U.K. and on to Normandy!

Highlights of the Journey

U.S. Flight Operations

May 16, 2019

Pre-trip flight training included many squadron formation sorties flown over Connecticut.

May 17, 2019

The Tunison Foundation hosted the official D-day Squadron “On to Normandy” dinner on May 17, 2019. The honorary speakers were 104 year old Pete Goutiere (top photo) who flew 380 dangerous missions over the “Hump” (Himalayas) and 96 year old Dave Hamilton (bottom photo) Normandy Pathfinder pilot on D-day, June 6, 1944.

May 18, 2019

The D-day Squadron, led by our C-47 Placid Lassie, invaded Manhattan during a Statue of Liberty flyover, escorted by six WWII T-6 aircraft.

Video by Influential Drones, Published by AOPA Live

The North Atlantic Route - Canada to France 

May 21, 2019

Placid Lassie departure Day for Europe – across the north Atlantic via Goose Bay Canada, Greenland and Iceland, at only 8,000 – 10,000 feet!

May 22, 2019

Over Greenland, en route to Iceland!

May 26, 2019

From the cockpit of our C-47, Placid Lassie, the lead aircraft for the Normandy and Berlin flights.

May 29, 2019

Rainy Scotland didn’t deter the locals from wanting to see our WWII D-day aircraft.

May 31, 2019

Our Placid Lassie flying above the he White Cliffs of Dover just off the coast of the UK. 

May 31, 2019


June 2-5, 2019

Thousands greeted us and the D-day Squadron at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, U.K.

June 5, 2019

7:00 a.m. The view from Placid Lassie as we headed toward the English Channel to Normandy.

Flight Operations in France

June 5, 7-9 2019

Placid Lassie dropped paratroopers in WWII gear over the original Normandy Drop zones on June 5 and June 7-9.

June 5, 7-9 2019

Paratroopers from the Liberty Jump Team and Round Canopy Parachute Team await their commemorative drops in Normandy.

June 6, 2019

Placid Lassie led the June 6, 2019 flyover above Omaha Beach as Presidents Trump and French President Macron lay commemorative wreaths.

June 6, 2019

Chief pilot and Tunison Foundation board president Eric Zipkin flies in formation over Normandy.

June 6, 2019

A salute to those who gave all: flying above the American Cemetery in Normandy.