Douglas Dakota C-47A Skytrain 42-92847 ‘That’s All Brother’, 5th/6th June 1944 – Lead D-Day aircraft
In order to ensure the defeat of Germany and the end of the Second World War, the Allied powers knew that they would have to launch a full scale assault against continental Europe, an undertaking fraught with potential dangers. In support of this plan, Allied aircraft began a concerted bombing campaign, targeting aircraft and munitions manufacturing plants, as well as attacking strategic targets in the intended landing areas, all designed to diminish Germany’s fighting capabilities. These attacks were always carefully masked by strong diversion raids, so as not to alert the Germans to where the anticipated Allied amphibious assault would take place, making D-Day as much about deception, as it was about preparation. Finally, after months of planning, the order was given to ‘Go’ and the invasion was on. At RAF Greenham Common in the late evening of 5th June 1944, paratroopers of the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions climbed aboard hundreds of Douglas C-47 Skytrains, as they prepared to drop behind German lines in advance of the main seaborne invasion force, the spearhead of Operation Overlord. At the head of this mighty air armada and the aircraft which effectively launched D-Day, Douglas C-47A ‘That’s All Brother’ would lead a force of over 800 Skytrains over the next few hours, as she navigated through thick cloud and German defensive fire to deliver her precious cargo of brave paratroopers onto their designated drop zones in Normandy and the opening combat operations of D-Day.