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June 6th - Tico Belle - Service During D-Day

Updated: Jun 9

✈️ Honoring D-Day with Tico Belle ✈️

On June 6, 1944, our C-47 Tico Belle, serial number 42-100591, played a vital role in the Allied invasion of Normandy. As part of the 9th Air Force, 437th Troop Carrier Group, 84th Troop Carrier Squadron, she bravely took to the skies to drop paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division behind enemy lines near Sainte-Mère-Église.

🌟 Mission Highlights 🌟

  • Operation Neptune: Tico Belle was integral to D-Day, towing a CG-4 glider carrying paratroopers who were crucial for securing key positions to support the beach landings.

  • Brave Crew: Piloted by 1st Lt Jay E. Bloch, with 2nd Lt Oscar B. Hill as co-pilot, S/Sgt John A. Quinn as crew chief, and Pfc J.D. Calhoun as radio operator, the aircraft faced intense anti-aircraft fire but completed its mission successfully.

  • Continued Service: On June 7, 1944 (D-Day +1), Tico Belle flew another mission, reinforcing the troops on the ground. She continued to serve in other major operations such as Operation Dragoon, Operation Market Garden, the relief of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, and Operation Varsity in Germany.

After WWII, Tico Belle continued her legacy, participating in the Berlin Airlift, and later served with the Royal Norwegian Air Force and Royal Danish Air Force. She was acquired by the Valiant Air Command in 1982 and restored to her former glory, continuing to fly and inspire as a living piece of history.

📅 Visit Us: Come witness Tico Belle at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum. Experience the history and heroism of this remarkable aircraft and the brave souls who flew her.

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