NEW ORLEANS — A C-47 aircraft that played a pivotal role in World War II, including dropping paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne into Normandy on D-Day, landed Thursday at Lakefront Airport and will be moved this month to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
“Like the Higgins boat, the Sherman tank and the jeep, the C-47 was so important to the success of the war effort that the National World War II Museum would not be complete without it,” Mueller said during a press preview for the C-47 — also known in civilian aviation as a DC-3 — at Lakefront Airport in eastern New Orleans.
This particular C-47, 096, carried Pathfinder paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne into Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, dropped a Pathfinder paratrooper team of the 101st Airborne into German-occupied Holland in Operation Market Garden; flew in a massive resupply mission to the 101st Airborne during the Battle of the Bulge; and took part in Operation Varsity — the “Rhine Jump” — in 1945.
But one of the more remarkable aspects of the National World War II Museum’s latest artifact, which has seats for 26 paratroopers, is how it was discovered.
“We found it on E-Bay. It was a great find,” Mueller said, noting that the purchase price was $155,000 and another $50,000 was put into the aircraft to restore it. “We think that’s a steal.”
The C-47 was described by famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle as “the workingest airplane in existence ... Almost any pilot would tell you it was the best airplane ever built.”
It's amazing what kind of deals you can find on E-Bay! It's funny how you can buy/sell military aircraft on E-Bay, but no firearms!
Well, anyway, it looks like I'm going to have to head to the Big Easy, wade through a few sombreros and check this new addition out!