A historic World War II aircraft is back in France to commemorate 75 years since D-Day.
“Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” began her journey to Normandy right here on the Central Coast at the start of May. The 1944 Douglas C-47 Skytrain flew out of Paso Robles before going on a trip to visit other cities across the U.S. in preparation for the D-Day anniversary.
June 6 of 1944 marks the day D-Day was coined when nearly 160,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy in the midst of World War II. Around 24,000 troops came before the attack, with paratroopers and night gliders dropping in throughout the night.
Crew members went along for the ride with Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber. Sherman Smoot, Scott Stelzle, Shane Wallace, Bill Frost, John Doyle and Hector Camacho are assisting with her journey and re-enactments. Throughout the two-month endeavor, they will have flown a total of 13,000 miles for 130 hours over two continents twice.
Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber made a performance at an air show in Chino before moving on to an anniversary fly-in over Frederick, Maryland and then a memorial flight over Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Betsy followed along the path to Oxford, Connecticut, for three days of training for the D-Day invasion re-enactment. The aircraft then joined an American fleet of nearly 20 vintage C-47s to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
She headed overseas later on in the month of May to European cities in Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and the United Kingdom. This led Betsy to joining more than 30 other models of the same aircraft in Daks Over Normandy to participate in the re-enactment. Organizers of the Daks Over Normandy event say this is the first time since World War II that this many similar aircraft will be in the same location on display.
During her time in Normandy, Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber has been put to good use as paratrooper squadrons have practiced their jumps ahead of the D-Day events.
Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber will be making a quick stop in Germany for the Berlin Airlift and a three-day celebration in Venice, Italy before celebrating the Independence Day holiday in Cody, Wyoming, and returning home to the Estella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles in July.
Visitors can go see Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber upon her return to the area by going to the museum Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.