C-47 used in D-Day flying back to France for 70th anniversary - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Authentic D-Day plane taking part in invasion re-enactment

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The National Warplane Museum refurbished a D-Day plane that will take part in the 70th anniversary of the event. (Source: FOX) The National Warplane Museum refurbished a D-Day plane that will take part in the 70th anniversary of the event. (Source: FOX)

(FOX) - A warplane that was active during World War II will make a historic return to Normandy, France, in commemoration of D-Day.

The National Warplane Museum refurbished the lead plane that transported the second wave of paratroopers on June 6, 1944. It's one of the last air-worthy WWII C-47's in America, and it will take part in a re-enactment flight this weekend.

Leslie Palmer Cruise Jr., a member of the 82nd Airborne, jumped out of that plane.

"So we went out like clockwork; it was like boom, boom, boom, boom," Cruise said. "You're practically running when you get to the door, you know, you just go right through the door."

More than 13,000 U.S. Army paratroopers jumped from C-47 cargo planes to battle German troops at Normandy.

Cruise, 90, won't participate in the re-enactment of the paratroopers' leap, but he will be present for the ceremony.

Pilot Chris Polhemus and his crew were responsible for flying the vintage, twin-engine warplane back to Normandy for the 70th D-Day anniversary.

"It's the chance of a lifetime to be involved in a historic event like this," Polhemus said.

The crew previously took the plane for a noisy, bumpy and exhilarating ride over Geneseo, NY.

With a top speed of just 160 miles per hour, Europe posed a long haul.

"She's good and solid," crew chief Michael Lindsay said. "I trust her getting me over there and back."

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