‘It’s just phenomenal to be able to come up and touch it’: Historic D-Day plane lands at Grimes Field in Urbana

The “That’s All, Brother” C-47 plane, piloted by Lt. Col. John Donalson, landed at Grimes Field Airport in Urbana Monday.

The C-47 was flown in the historic D-Day invasion of Normandy in World War II.

The airport ramp was open to visitors. They were able to tour the plane and meet the crew.

Jonathan and Rowan Dalton, and Tristan Smiley were among those who came to see the plane up close.

“I’m a World War II fanatic, and I told my boys there was gonna be a paratroop plane out here, so we all got up and out here to check it out,” Smiley said.

ExplorePHOTOS: "That's All, Brother" C-47 lands at Grimes Field

“It’s amazing, I love that it’s the actual plane that dropped paratroopers during World War II. It’s just phenomenal to be able to come up and touch it and see it and to be close to it. I love everything about it,” he said.

Rodger Dyer, another spectator, came from the Motts Military Museum in Groveport, outside Columbus.

“We’re restoring one of these, so we wanted to come down to get a look at some of the details,” he said.

“That’s All, Brother” was put on the civilian market after its years of service, but began to be restored to its original condition in 2015.

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“It’s just incredible, this is a piece of history. If it hadn’t been for such planes, the pilots, and the men that jumped out of them, we couldn’t have won the war,” Rodger said.

On June 6, 1944, the plane led around 800 C-47 planes during the airborne D-Day invasion of Normandy. Over 13,000 paratroopers were then successfully dropped into Northeastern France.

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“I’ve known several men who jumped Normandy. As a matter of fact, Peewee Martin is going to be 100 years old this weekend, and we’re having a thing for him in Xenia. You talk about heroes, these guys were up and they’re flying into the darkness; it’s truly incredible,” Rodger said.

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The next stop for the aircraft is the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where it was be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.

The aircraft is scheduled to depart the Air Force Museum by 2 p.m. on Thursday.

For more information about the plane, visit https://thatsallbrother.org/.

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