October 23, 2018
Oklahoma History Center and Midwest City Announce Joint Dedication Ceremony of World War II-Era C-47 “Skytrain”
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is proud to announce that they will partner with the City of Midwest City to dedicate C-47 transport aircraft #42-92838 to kick off the 2018 Veterans Day weekend. The C-47 is the latest addition to the Veterans Memorial located in Joe B. Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City at 8700 E. Reno Ave. Ceremonies for the event will take place on Friday, November 9, at 9 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial site. Five panels detailing the iconic historic story of this national World War II treasure will be featured during the dedication ceremonies.
Other events that weekend include a ribbon cutting at Midwest City High School on Sunday, November 11, for a Vietnam Memorial and the annual Midwest City Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 12.
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 17 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. This C-47 was then utilized as a corporate aircraft in the oil and gas industry by Phillips Petroleum and Kerr-McGee Corporation, during which time the plane logged two hours short of 18,000 hours of flight time.
In September of 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 30 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 Midwest City 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.
The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.okhistory.org/historycenter.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.