World War II airplanes land in Frederick for the 80th anniversary of AOPA

Veterans Voices

Several historic airplanes were in Frederick County, Md., for the 80th anniversary of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

On the runway at the Frederick Municipal Airport stood members of the D-Day Squadron’s C-47’s and DC-3’s.

Eric Zipkin has been flying since he was 14 years old, and is the main pilot of Placid Lassie.

“The connection to the past to my father and many people’s fathers and mothers is really extremely powerful,” Zipkin said.

Placid Lassie flew over the beaches of Normandy in 1944 during World War II. The plane was originally built in 1942.

“We have modern radios and navigational equipment, of course,” Zipkin said. “The rest of the controls are pretty much as they were back in 1944. This is the same control wheel, the same control propeller and lateral and mixture controls that some 19-year-old used and controlled over the beaches in Normandy.”

The year of 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which too kplace on June 6, 1944. To commemorate the anniversary, the plane and five others participated in a fly-over in Washington, D.C., in which Zipkin led a formation.

“We have been working for the last five years to make this a reality, and now that it is becoming a reality, it is an enormous amount of responsibility,” Zipkin explained. “But [it is]very special and moving.”

The next stop for the D-Day Squadron was across the North Atlantic to pay tribute to the veterans who took part in the invasion of Europe.

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