Matt Scales, the historian who tracked down the C-47 that led the main D-Day paratroop drops to Basler Turbo Conversions, shared his latest discoveries about his historic airplane.
“I found out that while it did lead the main force, we had the name of the aircraft wrong. The name of the aircraft was That’s All—Brother. We discovered this fact when we came across this footage of the C-47 taking off from Greenham Common,” writes Scales. Starting at 2:30 you can see paratroopers boarding C-47 92847, and watch That’s All Brother taxi out for its flight into history.
“Apparently, Col. Donalson (438th TCG commander) named it that as a message to Hitler that with the invasion, his plans were done. In other words, That’s all, brother,” Scales continues.
Talking to Col. Donalson’s daughter, Scales learned that he chose 92847 as the lead because Belle of Birmingham was his pride and joy and he didn’t want it scared by the installation of the equipment that would follow the pathfinder’s signals. A tenacious researcher, he learned that the Belle was scrapped in Mexico during the 1970s.
So far, a new owner interested in restoring the airplane to its historic prime has not yet stepped up, said Randy Myers, Basler’s director of production and engineering. To buy That’s All—Brother some more time, Myers scheduled some other DC-3s ahead of it for conversion to a BT-67, but like the paratroopers it carried on D-Day, the historic C-47 is fast approaching the doorway where it will make the jump to a turbine-powered workhorse.