D-Day Memorial Flight
On June 6, 2014 – the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy – Bridgewater College President David W. Bushman joined a number of other civic and political representatives in a fly-over of the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., in a restored World War II C-47. Dr. Bushman, who is a staunch supporter of aviation, was invited to take the historic air trip by Karl Stoltzfus, owner and founder of Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater and spouse of Barbara Stoltzfus, Bridgewater College trustee.
On June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied soldiers, supported by many more sailors and airmen, embarked on the long-awaited invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. Although it was an Allied effort, American fighting men bore the brunt of the combat and the resulting sacrifice. On D-Day, as it is famously known, more than 9,000 C-47s deposited American paratroopers into coastal France where, after prolonged and intense fighting, they helped naval and infantry forces break Adolf Hitler's hold on the European continent. The audacious surprise attack was the largest seaborne invasion in history and cost the Allies an estimated 10,000 men killed, wounded and missing. The Germans lost an estimated 425,000 men killed, wounded, missing and captured in the Battle of Normandy.