In Celebration of WWII Victory in EuropeTexas Flying Legends Museum Warbirds Fly from Houston to D.C.
Arsenal of Democracy Flyovers and a Reenactment:
Painting Recognition Stripes for D-Day
Washington D.C. – The Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover commemorates the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, May 6 – 8, 2015. The Texas Flying Legends Museum of Houston, Texas is proud to announce their participation with their entire fleet.
As an added bonus, The Texas Flying Legends and AirCorps Aviation crews will enact a Living History Display at Culpepper Airport on Thursday May 7, 2015 at approximately 1:30pm, after the practice mission. Several WWII Veterans will be on hand to tell their stories during the reenactment. The current day warbird restorers and pilots, dressed in period clothing, paint the iconic black and white recognition stripes on a C-53 Skytrooper.
The Invasion Stripes, alternating black and white bands, were painted on the fuselages and wings of aircraft just prior to the D-Day Invasion to help further identify the Allied aircraft and reduce friendly fire. The order went out just a few days before the operation, so crews used mops, brooms and any other form of paint brush available. In many cases they painted by eye and the results were not as neat as many restored warbirds show today.
Murray Lawler, a Linton North Dakota native, was a pilot during World War II. He was stationed in Great Britain and took part in D-Day on June 6, 1944. Lawler flew transport and paratroopers throughout the European Theater and received the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters for outstanding service in World War II. On D-Day, Lawler flew near St. Mere Eglise and dropped 18 paratroopers behind Nazi lines. “I wouldn’t want to do it again, but I don’t regret that I was there,” Lawler told the Emmons County Record in a 1994 interview. To read the full story of the Duchess of Dakota on the Texas Flying Legends Museum website, look for the Skytrooper page in the Planes section.
This aircraft is known for its vital role in cargo and paratrooper transportation on D-Day. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, termed it one of the most vital pieces of military equipment used in winning the war. C-47s remained in active military service long after the end of World War II.
The Texas Flying Legends planes and pilots represent the real Legends: the veterans of WWII and their stories of innovation and courage. Our mission is a simple one, to honor the past generations and educate the leaders of tomorrow through active display of WWII flying warbirds. Programs like these serve to remind each of us of the values and freedoms that make our country great.