Guests will fly on AAM’s original WWII Douglas C-47 Skytrain “Second Chance,” and are joined by AAM’s Living Historians.
The American Airpower Museum’s (AAM) C-47 D-Day Living History Flight Experiences on June 12th and July 31st were so popular that to meet overwhelming demand, AAM is launching more flights on Saturday, October 9, 2021 (rain date Oct. 10th).
Guests will fly on AAM’s original WWII Douglas C-47 Skytrain “Second Chance,” and are joined by AAM’s Living Historians who deliver a breathtakingly realistic recreation of what U.S. Paratroopers experienced in the Invasion of Normandy.
There are four flights October 9, 2021, between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Seats are allocated first come first served so folks should act fast to book their flight by calling (516) 531-3950 or (631) 454-2039 or by visiting AAM’s gift shop Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Hangar 3, Republic Airport, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735. Attached is my press release and a photograph of AAM’s C-47.
The folks going up on these living history flights are a mixed group, mostly adults, some veterans and there’s a sprinkling of young adults and teenagers. Minors under 14 years must be accompanied by an adult. Each guest is assigned the identity of a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. All get a feel for what it was like as a 101st and 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper making their incredible 1,200-plane airborne D-Day assault, when Allied forces stormed the coast of northern France.
The crew are all licensed pilots, some are ex-military, who have flown our C-47 and other restored aircraft for several years. Reenactment flights are led by famous World War II Living Historian Robert Scarabino, who is Director of the 101st Airborne Living History Group. With help from his 101st Airborne Living Historians, Commander Scarabino transports his passengers back in time. This D-Day Flight Experience as a WWII paratrooper includes: a mission briefing for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation which launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II; a chance to wear authentic military field jackets, helmets, and gear throughout this mission; the rare chance to take flight in an original WWII C-47, one of the few true C-47s still in original military condition.
Commander Scarabino starts off in a small “Ready Room” with walls covered in maps of the French coast. He lays out the objective, to destroy a Nazi German garrison and secure the causeways leading to the beach. Before dismissing his “troops,” he will issue them a tourniquet, a box of what was meant to be morphine, plus a reminder to take out a GI life insurance policy. “You’ve been training hard and fast for two years,” Scarabino will shout to the room full of his soldiers. “God bless you, and I’ll see you in the assembly area.”
Once on board AAM’s C-47, Scarabino’s “troops” will experience the sights, smells and sounds as her mighty engines fire up and they’re off into the blue! They’ll watch the crew operate their C-47 as paratroopers get ready for battle. As they fly over Jones Beach they line up and get ready to parachute down. They relive the WWII experience right up to the time when each hooks their parachute to the above static line and gets ready to jump! Many participants have said they were sweating and their hearts were racing because it was so realistic. After about half an hour in the air, they return to Republic, taxi to Hangar 3 and pull a card from their pocket telling the paratrooper’s fate whose identity they had assumed. Back on the ground, they can tour the Museum containing over a dozen flight-ready military aircraft used throughout the 20th century.