C-54 43-17228 successfully flown to Walterboro!
C-54D FLOWN TO WALTERBORO!
One Year and 11 days. On April 13, 2020, our beloved Douglas C-54E, the Spirit of Freedom was severely damaged early in the morning by tornados. Since then, a lot has transpired. After evaluation, the damage proved to severe for economical repair, so the decision to find a suitable replacement was made. In August 2020, the Foundation purchased C-54D 43-17228 to be the new Spirit of Freedom.
Since then, we’ve come a long way. We have a new C-54D, brought back to life by our ever dedicated crew. Surprisingly, we found that it has even more of an Airlift pedigree that the former Spirit. Over the weekend of April 24-25, this new C-54 43-17228, was flown to Walterboro to meet up with our old C-54E, where the museum interior will be transferred from plane to plane to get us started while we make major improvements to the display.
Unfortunately, our original plan to go directly to Mena, Arkansas for paint will be postponed until June as that’s when we fit into the paint shop’s schedule. In the meantime, we plan to bring the C-54D north to participate in WWII Weekend at Reading, PA., continuing our unbroken streak of participating in that event (it was cancelled in 2020) as we have since 1999.
If you would have told me we’d be in this position already after only a year, I wouldn’t have believed it. But, here we are, despite all the restrictions and obstacles resulting from the COVID pandemic.
How is that possible? It’s possible because of the dedication of our team and support from all of you. For this, we are thankful. The outpouring of support for us and our mission was extremely humbling.
This is a testament to all of you who’ve supported the Foundation and Spirit of Freedom since it’s inception. Thank you. We are grateful.
If you want a way to help, as some have asked, click here.