The Flight Back of Whiskey 7

The WWII-era plane, Whiskey 7, made an honored flight to the beaches of Normandy as part of the commemoration ceremonies on the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy landings. After undergoing heavy repairs and refurbishments just to make a single flight, the plane’s journey wound up being a rousing success. Now, the Whiskey 7 has made its way to home soil, the remembrances of D-Day behind it.

It was not a simple trip to and from the beaches of Normandy, but rather a much longer excursion over the course of a month. First flying through the northern regions of the United States and southern regions of Canada, the plane then flew through Greenland as well as part of Great Britain. Finally, the Whiskey 7 made its way to Normandy which was the grand finale of its whirlwind tour. The flight was referred to as the “Return to Normandy” mission, and was hands down the greatest endeavor the aircraft had taken on in a great many years until that point.

The flight meant a lot to those who were around to witness it. Survivors of the Second World War have said that seeing the plane in action jogged a lot of past memories, not all of them necessarily bad ones. The Whiskey 7 is a well-known relic of World War II, and seeing it in flight was symbolic for many veterans and their families who would have assumed that few such aircraft could survive all these years, much less in a condition that they could still fly, the WHEC Rochester reports.

And not many such aircraft did survive, either. In fact, this one is believed to be the last surviving C-47 which is still capable of airborne transport. For a plane over seventy years old, this is truly remarkable. Granted, the Whiskey 7 is still an older plane and is not in pristine shape. Many alterations have been made to make it more comfortable for those aboard as well as more suited to modern flight.

Some had originally been worried that the Whiskey 7 might not make it, but the aircraft was able to carry out its month-long journey as well as surviving the flight back home. Now resting once again on home soil, it is unknown when the plane will be flown again. The return of the plane was as heralded as the Normandy tour, so it can be presumed that any future flights of the Whiskey 7 will most certainly receive recognition.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE