C-47 “The SNAFU Special”
The Merville Battery Museum houses an authentic Douglas C-47 which took part in all the airborne operations in the European theatre of operations during the Second World War (Overlord, Dragoon, Market, Repulse, Varsity) as part of the 9th USAAF. Abandoned on an airfield near Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was repatriated in 2007 by a team of volunteers and restored to the colours that it wore on 6 June 1944, to be displayed in the battery compound.
It is currently the only C-47 in Normandy to have taken part in the landing on 6 June 1944 and repainted in the colours that it wore on that day, when it was dropping American paratroops at the American end of the landings. The aircraft operating at this end of the landings wer all British Royal Air Force (RAF).
It was from this same type of aircraft, belonging to the RAF and known as a “Dakota” by the British, that the 9th Para Battalion jumped onto DZ ‘V’ at Varaville to seize and destroy the guns in the Merville Battery. On 6 June 1944, the 9th Para Battalion was the only battalion of the 6th Airborne Division that jumped mainly from ‘Dakotas’, along with Albmarles and tugs towing eight gliders.
It is the first World War II transport aircraft to be classified as a “Historic Monument” (on 27 February 2014).
During your visit you can discover
the fascinating history of the “SNAFU Special”
and learn more about it by visiting its website.
Would you like to help finance
the restoration of the C-47?
Make a donation on the
Fondation du Patrimoine website