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Commemorative Air Force group works to restore D Day plane for anniversary flight

Posted at 6:32 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 11:29:22-05

JENKS, Okla. -- The C-47 led the charge in Normandy as the first plane to fly in on D Day.

When the Commemorative Air Force group found it being left to rust out, they made bigger plans for its future.

The Douglas plane flew in from Wisconsin Monday afternoon, marking the first time back in Tulsa since it was built about 70 years ago.

"This particular airplane was actually built in Tulsa. That's the history. This airplane has come home. The Commemorative Air Force... the goal is to restore the thing back to its original configuration," CAF unit leader Robert Prater said.

That's still a work in progress. The goal is on June 6th 2019, the 75th anniversary, the CAF will fly back to Normandy. Anticipation is building, especially for World War II veterans.

"These gentlemen actually get to see these and they're still flying. It's almost like you can look at their face and you can see that their mindset has gone 70 years ago," Prater said.

Gene Noble is one of them. He served in the Air Force and flew into Normandy himself. On Monday he was brought back to that memory.

"When we landed we were amazed at how few of fatalities there were," Noble said.

The flight dropped off restoration materials. From here, it goes on to Dallas for a CAF conference. It will come back to Tulsa next month.

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