Douglas DC-3C N25641
Legend Airways “Liberty” DC-3C, N25641, serial number 9059, was built by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation in Long Beach, CA. And rolled off the assembly line on February 11, 1943. Liberty, began life in service of the United States military, at the time deeply embattled in WWII, as a C-47-DL, military Serial #42-32833 stationed in Oran, Algeria in North Africa arriving on August 17th, 1943. During the war, she would see action in both the Mediterranean and European theaters, and on June 6th1944 would secure her spot in history, participating in the D-Day invasion of France. Attempting to weaken enemy beach defenses from behind, squadrons of DC-3s towed gliders and paratroopers into battle. Based out of Barkston Heath Airfield, England, part of the 61stTroop Carrier Group, Drop zone Normandy, Drop hour 02:32, 2ndBattalion, 507thPIR, Commanded by Capt. Lyon and a very brave crew, flying in Serial 24, the 21staircraft in the formation she carried many brave men into France. Work orders for the "repair of bullet holes" are still among her records. She was then transferred to the 8th Air Force for the remainder of the war and arrived back in the United States on August 17th, 1945, two years to the day from the time she touched down in the Algerian desert.
At the conclusion of the War, Liberty was decommissioned, sold into private hands and upgraded from military freighter to a corporate executive aircraft. She led a very pampered life, flying out of Shreveport, Louisiana for nearly 25 years. Another 25 years and five owners later, she was purchased by Erik L. Fleming, President of Fleming Corporation.
After amassing 18,500 hours of total flight time. In Early 1993 N25641 began a total restoration by Basler Turbo Conversions at a cost nearing 2 million dollars. Completed in 1995, she went through a major make over - right down to her original polished aluminum for that classic '40s - '50s look. The interior has been gutted and the 14 large, comfortable club-style chairs have been richly reupholstered in fabric imported from Italy. The carpet is custom made in Spain, the cotton headliner was woven in France. Avionics and cockpit were upgraded to state-of-the-art, as are the heating and air conditioning systems. The latest technology in soundproofing and insulation make her the quietest, most comfortable DC-3 ever. Rich, hand-made hardwood accents give her interior a very appealing, club-like ambience.
JB Air Services LLC of Brighton Colorado is the current custodian of N25641. Her current life is very relaxed, flying for some training, pleasure, and to the occasional air show. Current plan for the aircraft is to raise enough money to allow her to return to Normandy on the 75thanniversary in June 2019. More than 15 other C-47/DC-3’s are planning to travel from the United States over the North Atlantic in late May 2019 to be in position for the Anniversary flight over the English Channel on June 6th2019 into France, recreating history!
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