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Dedication ceremony for World War II–era C-47, Joe B. Barnes Regional Park
November 9, 9:00 am–10:00 am
The City of Midwest City and the Oklahoma History Center will hold a ceremony to dedicate C-47 transport aircraft #42-92838 on Friday, November 9, at 9 am. The C-47 is the latest addition to the Veterans Memorial located in Joe B. Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City. Five panels detailing the story of this national World War II treasure will be featured during the dedication ceremonies.
This aircraft was one of more than 5,300 manufactured at the Douglas Aircraft manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City and saw service in World War II. Most notable was its D-Day mission on June 6, 1944, in which it carried seventeen infantry paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division as a part of the Allied forces invading northern France.
After its World War II military service, the airplane was sold as war surplus material in May of 1946. It was then utilized as a corporate aircraft in the oil and gas industry by Phillips Petroleum and Kerr-McGee Corporation.
In September 1976, Kerr-McGee donated the aircraft to the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds where it was a part of an elevated static display with other military planes. It became a fairground fixture for the next thirty years and then was transferred to the Metro Technology Centers Aviation Career Campus.
After being contacted by family members of a paratrooper who jumped from the plane on D-Day, former State Representative Gary Banz spearheaded an effort to have the aircraft donated to the Oklahoma Historical Society. With the cooperation of Metro Tech and the support of the Friends of the Oklahoma History Center, the exterior of the aircraft was restored to its D-Day look and moved to its current location on December 3, 2017.