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Warplane taking off for Normandy Thursday

Updated: Friday, June 6 2014, 05:38 PM EDT

Geneseo, N.Y. -- A World War II transport plane housed in Livingston County is set to take off for France Thursday afternoon to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

The plane, known as Whiskey 7, was one of hundreds of C-47 aircrafts that sent paratroopers into action during the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

One of the last of its kind still flying, and the only one from the United States participating, the plane has been stored at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo. It’s scheduled to leave at 2 p.m. Thursday and make five stops on its way to France before arriving in time for the anniversary.

The twin-propeller plane will have parachutists made up of active and retired military personnel scheduled to be dropped over the plane's original jump zone. Five pilots will take turns flying the plane.

Several World War II veterans, including one who jumped from the plane, will get to witness the trip. Others involved said it will be an exciting opportunity.

“What they did was remarkable, unbelievable, and it’s for them and their generation,” said pilot Chris Polhemus. “We’re doing this because without them, we wouldn’t be here today enjoying the freedoms we have.”

The trip is expected to cost about $250,000, mostly in fuel expenses. More than $200,000 has been raised thus far. For information on how to donate, click here.

Warplane taking off for Normandy Thursday


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