D-Day 75

D-Day 75

2019 Special Exhibit

D-Day 75: En Route by Plane and Parachute

The Allied invasion of northern France on June 6, 1944—the largest seaborne invasion in world history—required air power and air defense for success. As America reflects on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Air Zoo presents an exhibition which explores the invasion through the lens of all things air.

Visitors will see D-Day through the eyes of POWs, glider pilot Darlyle Watters and paratrooper George Rosie, and through artifacts from the Air Zoo’s collection, including aircraft in the Flight Innovation Center, such as the P-47 Thunderbolt, C-47 Skytrain, and WACO CG-4A. View P-47 gun camera footage, find out what paratroopers wore as they leapt from C-47s, and get to know how Allied forces hauled men, machines, and medicine to Normandy in the sky in what some called a “plywood coffin” during that historic operation.

Local and Michigan-based companies who supported air power and defense will be featured, such as Gibson Guitars. Uncover the secret to the paratrooper’s boot heel. Learn how invasion stripes helped pilots fend off friendly fire when the skies were awash with aircraft and find out how many stripes you can “paint” against a ticking stopwatch! You’ll leave aware of how essential pilots, planes, and parachutes were to Allied success.

May 31-June 2

Yankee Air Visit - In conjunction with opening weekend, visitors also had the opportunity to see the Yankee Air Museum’s pristine Boeing B-17G Yankee Lady. Tours of and rides on this World War II aircraft were available onsite through the Yankee Air Museum.  More info here.


Visitors were also immersed in the era as the 101st Airborne were on site, in full dress and toting artifacts. The 101st Airborne is a platoon sized unit whose 13 veteran members (currently) from Kalamazoo, Metro Detroit, and Ohio serve/served in the US Army, US Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Michigan National Guard.  They portray Dog Company from the second battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and along with Easy Company and Fox company have 80 members between the East Coast and Michigan!  

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