World War II aircraft take to skies above D.C.

Julia LeDoux
May 10, 2019 - 4:17 pm

Jim Dresbach

Eric Zipkin was living a dream Friday as he piloted a World War II aircraft in the skies above Washington, D.C.

“This airplane flew over the beaches of Normandy,” he said of the C-47 named Placid Lacie. “I am sitting in the same seat, with those same controls, with those same instruments, as that pilot in World War II did.”

The flyover of World War II aircraft was conducted by members of the D-Day Squadron, part of the non-profit Tunison Foundation. The group works to maintain and educate the public about not only the aircraft that flew during World War II, but the pilots who flew them.

World War II planes will fly over D.C. Friday in honor of D-Day 75th anniversary

“Every day is a learning experience,” Zipkin said. “I learned a lot about the service and sacrifice of the World War II generation.”

Jim Dresbach

The D-Day Squadron was in the nation’s capital for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s 80th-anniversary celebration ad fly-in in Frederick, Md. Seven World War II aircraft – six C-47s and one T-6 Texan participated in the flyover. As lead pilot, Zipkin was responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone who flew with him.

“I’m responsible for keeping the planes where they need to be and out of restricted airspace,” he said.

The D-Day Squadron will soon fly from the U.S. to Normandy to participate in celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “Daks Over Normandy” will be the largest assembly of authentic vintage C-47 military aircraft and paratroopers since June 6, 1944. The planes will fly to France from around the world.

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