Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona flies WWII plane on 75th anniversary of D-Day

MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) - They faced impossible odds. Seventy-five years ago, young troops arrived by boat and by plane, landing on Normandy to help turn the tide on World War II.

Those soldiers were remembered this morning at the Commemorative Air Force Airbase in Mesa with special flights over the Valley.

"It means a lot. I'm a veteran. I spent six years with the 82nd Airborne, so I was a paratrooper so being apart of this means a lot," Col. Chris Allen said.

Vintage aircraft -- unique in its kind. The C-47 Dakota was used on D-Day to carry paratroopers and drop supplies.

Once, there were over 800 of these aircraft and this plane, in particular, was used in combat on the invasion on D-Day.

Also the B-17.

"It was one of the heavy bombers for World War II, used extensively over Europe, as well as over the Pacific as well," Col. Allen said.

The aircraft first flew over the Deer Valley Cemetery, then the Veteran's Memorial and the Arizona State Capitol.

"It is really incredible to fly," Col. Allen said. "The radio engine -- there's nothing like that. The sound to it, it's a really graceful flying aircraft. It's a privilege to work on it."