LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — People from all across the Bluegrass have been making their way to Lexington to get a peek at the airplane known as ‘That’s All, Brother.’
The World War II carrier aircraft is visiting the Aviation Museum of Kentucky this weekend.
“The significance of this aircraft is back in 1944 when they did the Normandy Invasion, this airplane was the lead airplane of 800 C-47s that dropped 13,000 paratroops on Normandy,” said Jerry Landreth with the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.
The aircraft was built in 1944 in Oklahoma City, Ok.
It was named ‘That’s All, Brother’ by Lt. Col. John M. Donalson as a nod to the goal of the mission.
“He wanted to send a message to Adolf Hitler. And that message was, ‘That's all, brother,’ and they were the lead airplane that drove that point home,” explained pilot John Cotter.
But the aircraft was almost lost to history forever.
“This airplane was actually discovered in a boatyard, and it was just about to be converted into a freighter to be used with turboprop engines and it would have never been a warbird ever again,” Cotter said.
The Commemorative Air Force has invested 3 million dollars into restoring ‘That’s All, Brother.’ Restoration efforts began in 2015 and were completed in 2018.
In 2019, the aircraft returned to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
“It’s not every day you get to see and touch a piece of history,” said Airforce veteran Rob McCormick, who traveled from Danville, Ky. to see the airplane in person.
“The folks that come out, their grandpa or great-grandfather flew in that airplane or their grandma helped build it,” Cotter said. “It’s part of the honor of getting to fly it is allowing them to experience a little bit of what their family members saw.”
“To have the older folks who worked or were in the military in World War II not only come out and even walk out and take a look at it, but for them to actually go up and do a flight experience, it brings a tear to you,” said Landreth.
The Aviation Museum of Kentucky is offered ground tours and rides in the Douglas C-47 Skytrain from April 9-11.
The aircraft will conclude the first stop in its tour on Sunday.
It will be leaving for Terre Haute, IN on Monday morning.
To find out more information about the tour or you can make a donation to continue restoration efforts by visiting the Commemorative Air Force’s website.
You can also plan a visit to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky by visiting their website.