This project is the next step in the adventure of the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Ground Display Team and its campaign to build on the Aviation heritage of Blackpool Squires Gate and the role Blackpool has played in aircraft manufacturing and in supporting the RAF during WW2.
Our Dakota was built in 1943 in Long Beach California. She was taken on strength by the United States Army Air Force in August 1943. During the D-Day drop she flew on the first wave as Aircraft #51 carrying the 3rd Battalion of the 82 Airborne onto Drop Zone "N" in the region of St Mere Eglise Region.
This WW2 Veteran is currently overseas and we believe that her return to the UK and subsequent overhaul and upgrade will see this heroic aircraft in the skies above the UK for generations to come.
The Dakota Aircraft was also flown by RAF Pilots and also acted a Towing Aircraft for other operations such as Market Garden in 1944 and at our Visitor Centre at Blackpool Airport we hope to open up this project to the members of the Public. We need to Crowdfund £125,000 to secure the future of this Dakota and hope that the UK Public as well as those in the United States will support our attempts to return this D-Day vet to the UK.