Merville Battery: Origins of Dakota Aeroplane

When the Merville Battery Museum first began to look for a Douglas C47, the iconic aircraft of the airborne forces, no one imagined the adventure that was about to unfold. Acting on information supplied by a French soldier who had served with UN forces in the Balkans in 1992, Dakota 43-15073 was located in Bosnia and Herzegovina and her history uncovered.

A long period of negotiations began to obtain the permission of the authorities for the removal and recovery of the aircraft. Families of the crew in 1944 were traced. A group of volunteers called “the SNAFU Team” began preparations for the recovery of Douglas 43-15073 by road across Europe to Normandy.

She arrived in Normandy on 6th December 2007 where she was restored by a team of fifty volunteers and pupils from an industrial apprentice college. Finally, in May 2008 she was transferred by road to the Merville Battery Museum.

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