The historic Douglas C-47 Skytrain that led the Allied invasion of Normandy almost ended up as a Basler turboprop conversion, when it was discovered in a scrap yard here at Oshkosh. The aircraft, named “That’s All, Brother”, was the first of more than 800 aircraft that participated in the Normandy invasion on June 5th and 6th 1944. More than 13,000 paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines in advance of the Normandy beach invasions. The name was given to the aircraft to tell Hitler that his days were numbered in Europe.

“That’s All, Brother” launched from Greenham Common, southwest of London, with 5 to 6 crew members and 15 to 16 paratroopers. Most C-47 Skytrain and C-53 Skytroopers could carry 23 to 28 fully equipped paratroopers, each weighing 300+ lb. with equipment. But “That’s All, Brother” was equipped with a hefty ground-mapping radar that enabled the crew to guide other paratroop airplanes to the drop zones near Normandy, so its paratrooper load was cut by almost half.

Paratroopers, led by Colonel George Van Horn Moseley, Jr, of the 101st Airborne Division, Second Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, jumped from the aircraft at 12:44 AM, June 6, into the black skies near Sainte-Mère-Église. Only a few survived the assault. Colonel Moseley was badly injured, but he refused to be evacuated to a field hospital. Instead, “Old Moe” had his troops push him around in a commandeered wheelbarrow for the next two days so that he could led the charge against the Nazi war machine.

Commemorative Air Force now is in the process of restoring the aircraft, with the goal of flying it over Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the Allied Invasion in June 2016. CAF will continue to use the aircraft has an education outreach tool, enabling young people and other visitors to sit in the aircraft as though they were WW II paratroopers. The aircraft will be on display at the Boeing Plaza during this year’s EAA AirVenture. CAF is using crowd source funding to pay for restoration of the historic aircraft. Thus far, more than $280,000 has been raised of the $310,000 needed to complete the project.