C-47A Transport "Gooney Bird"
Douglas Aircraft Co.
This twin-engine 1943 Douglas Aircraft product, the military version of the DC-3, is thought to have been used by the United States Army Air Force in the World War II invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. It is painted in camouflage with invasion stripes, which were placed on Allied aircraft used on D-Day to identify them so they would not be subject to friendly fire. The plane was agile and dependable, and could land and take off on comparatively short air fields. It earned the nickname “Gooney Bird” because its large, lumbering image mirrored that of the giant albatross birds, known for their endurance and ability to fly great distances, found on Midway Island in the Pacific. After the war, this plane was used in commercial passenger service in Nevada until it was reacquired by the military for use by the 131st Tactical Fighter Group of the Missouri Air National Guard for 22 years. Hear more here.