Santa Ana, Calif., – Lyon Air Museum, a world class showcase of historic aircraft and vintage automobiles, is scheduled to participate with its World War II C-47 Skytrain alongside other historic aircraft in a Memorial Day “Operation SoCal Strong” flight over four Southern California counties beginning at Noon on Monday. The flyover is a salute to Veterans and Frontline COVID-19 Health Care Workers, and will take place over two local National Cemeteries, the VA, USC, UCLA, CHOC, Loma Linda, City of Hope Medical Centers and Hospitals, and the Battleship USS Iowa, among other significant sites en route. The flyover tribute is organized by the Inland Empire Wing Commemorative Air Force.
The “Skytrain,” or “Dakota,” as it was called in British and Commonwealth service, was developed from the DC-3 airliner, and served as a military transport, carrying troops and cargo and towing gliders. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, once claimed the C-47 was one of the most vital pieces of military equipment used in winning the war. The “Gooney Bird,” as it was informally known as in the European Theater of Operations, went on to serve with distinction in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The C-47’s role in the successful Allied invasion of Nazi Occupied France on June 6, 1944 was perhaps its finest moment in its long history. In just two hours, over 800 unarmed C-47s delivered over 13,000 paratroopers into Normandy in the opening hours of D-Day. It also towed gliders full of men and equipment, and dropped desperately needed cargo to the troops on the ground.
Lyon Air Museum’s C-47B, “Willa Dean,” is one of the most original and best preserved C-47s in existence.
Lyon Air Museum represents the realization of a dream of founder retired Major General William Lyon. As a former combat pilot, and ultimately Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979, his passion for aviation history and youth education is the driving force behind Lyon Air Museum. In establishing the museum, General Lyon has created a world-class facility, offering educational tours and displays to inspire young people. The Museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational historic aircraft and vehicles.
Lyon Air Museum is located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707.
Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission rates: General admission--$13; Seniors and Veterans--$10; Ages 5-17--$6; Under age 5—Free. Groups of 10 or more--$1 off each visitor. Note: Lyon Air Museum is currently temporarily closed due to COVID-19, opening as soon as possible.
Media Contact: Jade Nguyen
Lyon Air Museum