75th D-Day anniversary goes high-tech at Air Force museum

Members of the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, jump out of D-Day Doll, a Douglas C-53D Sky Trooper aircraft, during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Central Valley Air Show at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.


By STEVE STEPHENS | The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch | Published: April 14, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — A new, high-tech exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will allow visitors to step inside the action that marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

“D-Day: Freedom From Above” will premiere May 13 at the museum in Dayton. The 3,500-square-foot exhibit will focus on Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first French town to be liberated, and the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division, which fought there.

The exhibit, celebrating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, uses interactive technology called the HistoPad Augmented Visit experience. Visitors can check out a HistoPad table that allows them to manipulate 3-D virtual relics and artifacts, to see inside aircraft and to virtually “operate” and manipulate a full, 360-degree view of equipment.

The HistoPad also displays scenes from 1944 compared with how they look today, unpublished photographs and extracts of archival films.

The exhibit, developed in association with the French Airborne Museum of Sainte-Mere-Eglise in Normandy, France, runs through the end of the year.

The museum also will host special D-Day commemorative events this spring.

On May 13, a historic C-53 airplane, “D-Day Doll,” will perform a flyover of the museum and will drop a team of paratrooper re-enactors at 10 a.m. The paratroopers later will meet the public and will introduce the movie “D-Day: Normandy 1944.”

Filmmaker Ethem Cetintasalso will speak about and screen his movie “Secret Spitfires” at 6:30 p.m.

On June 6, a wreath-laying ceremony with WWII military vehicles will take place at 10 a.m. in the museum’s Memorial Park. The ceremony will include a C-47 flyover. The day also will include paratrooper, flight crew and flight nurse re-enactors, speaking sessions by D-Day veterans and showings of the movie “D-Day: Normandy 1944.”

Museum admission is free. HistoPad tablet rentals are $5. Movie admission also is at an additional charge.

For more information, call 937-255-3286 or visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.

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