Whiskey 7 to Visit Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle
Presque Isle will be the first stop for a World War II era warplane making an historic Trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Europe to take part in a reenactment of D-Day 70 years later.
The Douglas C-47 aircraft, and its crew, will arrive on Thursday, May 15, and will overnight in Presque Isle, before continuing a three week, eight city flight plan leading to the June 6th anniversary event in and around Normandy, France.
The C-47 is set to land at the Northern Maine Regional Airport on May 15 at around 5:30p.m, festivities begin around 4:30p.m. It will depart Geneseo, New York, site of the National Warplane Museum, at 2:00p.m., following a 1940’s-era themed send-off celebration. See below for a working itinerary.
Known as Whiskey 7, the C-47 landing in Presque Isle served on D-Day to deploy paratroopers over northwestern France. The make of the warplane also has historic significance to Presque Isle, as the C-47 was frequently used to transport injured troops from the European theater to the busy Presque Isle Army Airfield where a large hospital complex sat on what is now the north end of the Northern Maine Community College campus.
The ceremony will continue when Whiskey 7 lands in Presque Isle. Area emergency service vehicles will escort the aircraft as it taxis from the runway to the area in front of the Corporate Aircraft Hangar at the General Aviation Terminal. Participating in the escort will be a Crown Critical Care Transport ambulance.
Following the brief ceremony, interested community members will be invited to see the aircraft up close, take photographs, and meet the crew. Area veterans, community leaders, and Presque Isle Air Museum officials will all take part.
The warplane will depart from Presque Isle around 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 16. Special tours and visits of Whiskey 7 are being planned for area Veterans, first responders and school children on Friday morning.
The Presque Isle visit by the C-47 is part of the “Return to Normandy” project, a world tribute to the fallen and surviving soldiers of WWII. The National Warplane Museum is working alongside the French government to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a significant turning point for the to-be victors of the war.
Preparations for the visit to Presque Isle by Whiskey 7 are currently being finalized. A full schedule of events will be posted on TAMC’s website, tamc.org, and on the Northern Maine Regional Airport’s website, flypresqueisle.com, after May 8. Information will also be announced through County media outlets.
C-47 LANDING AND STOPOVER IN PRESQUE ISLE
THURSDAY, MAY 15 & FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014
THURSDAY, MAY 15:
4:30 p.m. -Ladder trucks from Presque Isle and Fort Fairfield Fire Departments arrive and set up arch over arrival ceremony stage with U.S. Flag hung between the two.
-Crown CCT Aircraft is positioned near area where Whiskey 7 will be positioned.
-Traffic and Access Control Volunteers Report for Duty and are given instruction and positioned
-Molly the Trolley Arrives to provide assistance to Elderly attendees
5:00 p.m. -EMS/First Responders from throughout the region arrive to form welcoming procession to be led by Airport vehicle, followed by Crown CCT ambulance
-Music begins to play (Community Brass Band)
-Honored Guests from “The Greatest Generation” arrive and are seated in front of the stage
5:30 p.m. -Whiskey 7 Lands and is escorted to General Aviation Terminal Area by First Responders Procession to background of where stage is set up for arrival ceremony. Aircraft will be framed in background of the ladder truck arch.
-As soon as Whiskey 7 Engines are Shut Down Fred Parsons is introduced, takes center stage and sings
5:45 p.m. -Arrival Ceremony begins on stage in front of Whiskey 7
-Presentation of Colors (Hayward-Frazier VFW Post 2599)
-National Anthem (Performed by Brass Ensemble)
-City Proclamation (E. Smith)
-Welcome, Significance of Event and History of Airfield (N. Grass)
-Acknowledgement of representatives of “The Greatest Generation”
-Crew Member Comments on Mission (Chief Pilot, Captain Christopher Polhemus)
-Closing Remarks (N. Grass)
-Brass Band Resumes Performing as Community Members, led by
Honored Guests are invited to visit Whiskey 7
6:00 p.m. – -Public to view Whiskey 7 and Crown CCT Air Ambulance and visit with
Dark respective crews. Fred Parsons performs several patriotic tunes after Brass Ensemble is finished playing
FRIDAY, MAY 16:
9:00 a.m. -Special opportunity for area Veterans and First Responders to view Whiskey 7 and visit with the crew.
9:45 a.m. -Greatest Generation and First Responders procession lines up by gate at General Aviation with Crown CCT Ambulance in the lead with other ambulances, fire trucks, police vehicles, etc. following
-Mr. Faye Fitzherbert, PI Army Airfield Civilian who drove ambulance from C-47 Aircraft to Base Hospital
-Mr. Heber Umphrey, Military Paratrooper who jumped from the C-47
-Mr. Joseph “Reed” Beaulieu, Military Pilot, who flew the C-47 along
with other aircraft in the late 1940’s-1950’s
-Mr. Donald Collins, WWII-era Veteran who fought in the aftermath of
D-Day and in the Battle of the Bulge
-Mrs. Thelma Archer, helped to build C-47 Aircrafts at Tinker Airfield
during WWII, a Rosie the Riveter
-Mrs. Dorothy Bolstridge, Parachute Packer at PI Army Airfield
-Craig Wadsworth, Chief of Maintenance and Flight Engineer, Whiskey 7
-Fred Parsons, Veteran and Crown CCT Paramedic
-Procession proceeds from General Aviation Terminal to Northern Maine
Community College Campus
10:00 a.m. -Procession stops briefly at Northern Maine Community College (North end) at spot where PI Army Airfield Hospital once stood
10:10 a.m. -Procession arrives at Presque Isle Middle School where Seventh and Eighth graders are gathered for “A Conversation with the Greatest Generation” assembly to hear from the procession guests of honor (above)
11:00 a.m. -PIMS Students bused to General Aviation Hangar to see aircraft prepare for take-off and fly out
12:00 noon -Whiskey 7 departs for Goose Bay, Labrador