This week sees a gathering of C-47 and the civilian DC-3, commonly known as the Dakota, to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, on June 6th.
The assembly point of these aircraft took place at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, where 15 Dakotas from all around the USA started to assemble at Duxford towards the later part of last week, and the European contingent arrived at Duxford on Sunday 2nd June.
For this blog I decided to split this up into 2 parts, Pt -1 was a short trip to the home of the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden to witness the arrival by 7 Dakota types from the D-Day Squadron on the eve of their June airshow, which was announced by the social media on the Friday before the show that they were going to attend the show, another kudos for the organisers at Shuttleworth.
Arrived at Shuttleworth shortly after 12-30pm hoping that car spaces were available, to my surprise there were a few spaces available, had a quick snack before proceeding to the flight line before the Dakotas arrived which was about 15-00pm which turned out to be accurate, with a 7 ship flypast, run and brake before they separated and landed, what a sight 7 Dakotas at a small grass airstrip in the middle of Bedfordshire, possibly never to be repeated, and one for the history books.
Armed with my Sigma 70-200mm and my 28-70 mm Nikon lenses I set to task and recorded this historic event all of which was in good lighting. Once landed, 6 of the Dakotas taxed by the waiting photographers to the paddock area and the 7th one proceeded to the static flight line, once all the Aircraft stopped engines and removed the contents of the aircraft it was time to take a few images on the ground, by then the lighting was getting better.
I had a great 4 hours at Shuttleworth to record this piece of history for those who attended the show the next day they were in for a nice treat, they will be allowed to get close and personal to the Daks and witness their departure back to Duxford later on in the day.