This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, April 28 2019 1:29 AM UTC +00:00.
This is the story of three Royal Air Force Douglas C-47 Dakota’s, following their participation in D-Day to their current ownership with Canadian Airline, Buffalo Airways.
The first volume covers day to day second world war operations for three RAF C-47: KG330, FZ668 , KG545 and stories from men who flew with her.
Volume 1 (of the 2 planned) of my book have approximately 120 pages, available in both regular softback and deluxe hardback versions. Included in volume 1 is a complete description of the Dakota III, a reproduction of the original wartime RAF pilots notes which describe the aircraft, it’s systems and procedures in detail.
Release date: June 2019
Volume two: Peaceful Skies, post war career of KG330, KG545 and FZ668, FZ668 restoration and Buffalo Airways operations (around 120 pages, 8x10)
Release date: November 2019
How the project started
In 2017 I purchased an American built, Canadian registered Douglas DC-3, C-FDTD. With the manufacturers serial number 12253 the aircraft had been abandoned at St. Hubert Airport near Montreal in Quebec, Canada, for 24 years. This DC-3 turned out to be a converted World War 2 Douglas C-47 Dakota and I was inspired to restore her to flying condition.
My passion is aviation, which includes a great many aspects of the subject, however the Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota a special place in my heart; something romantic, a mix between the streamlined design from the 30's and reminiscences from a bygone era when the airline industry was in its pioneering stages. The DC-3 shaped the airline industry we know today.
A story to tell
After some initial research into C-FDTD a hidden history began to unfold. My DC-3’s wartime identification had been FZ668, serving with 271 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Delivered from the United States of America to the United Kingdom as a Douglas C-47 Skytrain she was re designated as a Dakota III by the RAF. Further research revealed her extensive military service, participating in D-Day over Normandy and Operation Market Garden in Holland, to her civilian career with Trans Canada Airlines and the Canadian aviation regulator Transport Canada. I then started to research the history of the men and women who flew with this aircraft. The scope of my research quickly widened to include the names, faces, stories, hopes and sacrifices of those who’s paths had crossed with C-FDTD.
In December 2018 the reality of the mounting costs and necessary commitment of time exceeded the ability of our small team. After careful consideration the decision was taken to sell the aircraft to Buffalo Airways, the Yellowknife based operator who have a worldwide reputation for their knowledge, expertise and dedication to the venerable DC-3 workhorse. Buffalo have a specific goal: To return her to the skies on June 6th 2019, the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
I was honored to be invited by Buffalo to join their team for this historical project, managing local logistics and, as historian, researching the histories of other Buffalo DC-3's. To my amazement I discovered they have another Dakota which, as KG545 with the Royal Air Force, actually flew alongside FZ668 in addition to KG330, another D-Day aircraft.
You can read more about the project here: https://www.planesavers.com
At this point I realized I had to tell the story of these 3 aircraft and thus the decision to write this book was made. This first volume covers the wartime operations of the three Oklahoma City built Douglas Dakota’s KG330, FZ668 and KG545 from January 1944 to May 1945. This is their war diaries, day by day, stories of courage, perseverance and faith.
Risks and challenges
The availability date is tentative and depends of the printing company.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter