‘Miss Montana’ Pilot Relives Poignant D-Day Experience
Miss Montana pilot Bryan Douglass shared some memories of the experience from Thursday's 75th anniversary of D-Day on the way to the airport, preparing to fly to Germany.
He described the second to second timing required by all the aircraft involved.
“We had to turn in-bound, parallel the coast, and hit the target within 10 seconds of our goal,” said Douglass. “We pretty well did it. I’ve got video of us flying past the cemetery and they showed us where the VIP’s were going to be standing and I could see the Presidents and their wives standing on this little overlook watching us fly past, and of course all the people in the cemetery, so that was a surreal moment.”
Douglass described a poignant moment that reflected the gratitude of the French people that occurred on Omaha Beach.
“We were staying in a little rental house near Sword Beach last night, so pretty much just north of Cannes, and one of our gals that was with us went for a walk on the beach yesterday morning and saw this bouquet of flowers planted in the sand, and written in the sand was the word ‘Merci’.”
He said the people of Normandy provided constant reminders of their gratitude to their allies in the war.
“We were just driving in from the coast and into the airport now, and we were driving through these places where they fought,” he said. “You’ll see these American flags here and there along with British and Canadian flags. The people of Normandy have not forgotten, and I dearly hope that we will not either.”
Douglass said there will be a time for rest after all the frenetic activity of the last few days, then, they will make plans to fly to Germany to take part in the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.