On Wednesday, July 15, the Presque Isle Air Museum unveiled a new photograph to be on permanent display at the museum, which is located in the southern end of the passenger terminal at Presque Isle International Airport. The photograph is of the radial engine of a WWII C-4. It captures the essence of the national role our base played in the country’s defense.

The photo, taken by local photographer Paul Cyr, shows the engine of one of the C-47s being maintained while on the ground here in May 2019 as the planes made their way to the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. The event last year marked the first time since the 1940s that so many of these planes were on the ground here.

Presque Isle played a key role in the defense of our nation during World War II. Presque Isle’s Army Air Field (and later Presque Isle Air Force Base) was the last base on US soil before our troops and planes landed in Europe and the first base as they returned home.

D-Day or June 6, 1944 represents the day that many historians say was the turning point in World War II. On that day, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. The Allies suffered 10,000 casualties including 2,500 deaths that day.

The C-47s were designed and manufactured here in the United States (California and Oklahoma) with the first flight taking place December 23, 1941. Only 10,147 of these were built. During World War II, the armed forces of many countries used the C-47 and modified DC-3s for the transport of troops, cargo, and wounded. The C-47 was instrumental in the success of many Allied campaigns as this aircraft made it possible for Allied troops to counter the mobility of the light-travelling Japanese Army.

The Presque Isle Air Museum was established to honor the men and women who served their country at Presque Isle Army Air Field and to preserve, chronical, display and promote awareness of the history of aviation in Presque Isle especially in its roles as Presque Isle Army Air Field and the Presque Isle Air Force Base. Admission to the museum is free.

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