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Edward Wilson Frome
Captain Edward Wilson Frome (top middle)

In January 2013, Air Heritage Aviation Museum made the decision to acquire a Douglas C-47 Skytrain that had been ferried to our airfield. It was the dreams of many at the museum to get a C-47. At the time we purchased it, we had no clue the history behind the aircraft, but we have since found it with the help of many.

We found the WWII pilot to whom the aircraft was assigned to, Captain Edward Wilson Frome, who passed away in 2013. Prior to his passing, we were able to make contact with him and his daughter who provided us with valuable information on his plane.

We received a copy of the 75th Troop Carrier Squadron War Diary which has given us the complete detailed history of our plane in World War II from the time it entered service in 1944 till May 28th, 1945, when it flew its last mission.

Air Heritage Aviation Museum is the very first civilian operator of this C-47. It has only flown with the USAAF/USAF, US Army and the State of Florida’s Lee County Mosquito Spraying Division.

435th Troop Carrier Group
435th Troop Carrier Group

History During World War II

Our plane was delivered to the 9th Air Force’s 75th Troop Carrier Squadron on September 30th, 1944. The 75th TCS itself was a part of the 435th Troop Carrier Group, which itself was a part 53rd Troop Carrier Wing.

The plane is too young to have flown in Operation Overload or Operation Market Garden, but it did make it to two other large campaigns. Our plane flew two Resupply missions over the Battle of the Bulge on December 24th and December 26th, 1944, in which it dropped supplies from parapacks as well as from inside the fuselage to the surrounded troops below in the city of Bastogne. It also took part in Operation Varsity, the single largest air drop of troops and supplies during a single day, even to date. Over Varsity it towed two Waco CG-4A gliders full of troops.

Overall, it flew in 25 Fully Combat-Operational Resupply Missions in the European theatre from its base in Welford Park, England and Brétigny-sur-Orge, France. It also flew 13 missions in which it evacuated American, British, French, and even German POWs. We have records for at least 96 missions of various types that it took part in during the war.

Our plane was also one of just three C-47’s used to deliver the “Stars and Stripes, Victory Edition” to various airbases throughout Europe.

  • Dave Messersmith – Aircraft Commander
  • John Lindsey – Pilot
  • Chris Polhemus – Pilot
  • Bill Schillig – Pilot
  • Dale Bonner
  • Tom Gargaro
  • Andy Janicki
  • Jim Johnson
  • Jack Larkin
  • Chris Osman
  • Dave Treusch
C47B Luck Of The Irish
C47B Luck Of The Irish
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