Betsy's homecoming

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C-47 bomber returning to Paso Robles after taking part in D-Day commemoration abroad

After spending two months abroad commemorating D-Day, “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” and her crew return home on Sunday, July 7.

The Estrella Warbirds Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and artifacts, is inviting the public to the welcome home celebration of the C-47 bomber, pilots, and flight crew from their two-month world tour throughout the United States and abroad to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion.

The American fleet of vintage World War II C–47s crossed the Atlantic and joined other C–47s from around the world for the Daks Over Normandy event crossing of the English Channel into France. The local aircraft, which was part of the elite D-Day Squadron, is owned by the Gooney Bird Group, and is a featured display at the museum.

Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber is expected to arrive on the airfield at Estrella Warbirds Museum at approximately 4 p.m. on July 7. The public is invited to join the museum in welcoming back the C-47 and those who took part in this historic flight — Sherm Smoot, Chief Pilot; Scott Stelzle, Pilot/Crew Chief; Hector Camacho, Pilot; Nick Camacho, Pilot/Mechanic; John Doyle, Chief Mechanic; Shane Wallace, Pilot; Ben McCall, Pilot; and Bill Frost, Pilot Sponsor.

En route, “Betsy” flew over the Statue of Liberty, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Pentagon prior to departure for Goose Bay, Newfoundland. After stops in Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, and Cambridge UK, the C-47 continued on to Duxford, England to participate in paratroop drops, and reenactments in both England and France before moving on to Germany. Returning to the United States, ”Betsy” will participate in the Spirit of the West 4th of July celebration in Cody, Wyo., then return home to Paso Robles.

The “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” Welcome Home Reception is free to the public. The museum will close at 3 p.m. For those joining the celebration, entrance will be through Hangar One. Firestone Walker beer, wine, food, and other beverages will be available for purchase. The celebration will feature displays from Estrella Warbirds Museum, veteran groups, and vehicles from Camp Roberts.

The Estrella Warbirds Museum is located at 4251 Dry Creek Rd., Paso Robles. The museum is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Legal Monday Holidays (President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day). For general admission visit www.ewarbirds.org. For more information on “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” Welcome Home Reception, contact: Carol Verstuyft at [email protected]

“Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber,” a WWII C-47 built by Douglas Aircraft of Santa Monica is owned and operated by The Gooney Bird Group, LLC, a non-profit organization located in Paso Robles. The group is dedicated to preserving and maintaining airworthy historical planes, and educating current and future generations of the engineering achievements, and personal sacrifices made by our military men and women.

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