That’s All Brother led the paratroopers to the Invasion of Normandy, and she is now back in the air again thanks to the work of the Commemorative Air Force. Historians say that the plane called That’s All Brother was the leader of the formation dropping thousands of American paratroopers into Normandy on June 6, 1944. While this C-47 holds a special place in history, the plane had all but been forgotten until it was discovered in a junkyard for planes in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The flight taking place on January 31, 2018, was the first time that the plane had been in the air for nearly 10 years.
Matt Scales with the Air Force Historical Research Agency began researching the pilot of the plane on that fateful day when he discovered the plane’s tail number. Matt started tracing the tail number, and he was excited to discover that the plane was still intact. A tail number is visible from footage of the invasion is available at the National Archives, so historians know that they have the right plane.
The plane has been in the process of being restored since 2015. While it was hoped that first trip would be a little ahead of Thanksgiving, the restoration work took longer to complete than expected. The wiring in the plane had to be almost completely pulled out and replaced. The engines had to be removed and completely overhauled. Several instruments in the plane had to be repaired or replaced. The age of the plane made the restoration work harder as a lot of corrosion had to be removed.
While the plane has now proved that she is ready to fly, the interior has yet to be restored. That work will be undertaken in San Marcos, Texas, at the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. While That’s All Brother is in San Marcos, her interior will all be redone so she looks like she did when she flew troops to Normandy. It is hoped that the work will be completed in time for her to go to Normandy for an anniversary re-enactment in June 2019.