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54th ARS Honors Their C-47 Roots

Looking out C-47 window

A wing of a C-47 Skytrain is seen out the planes window, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield. The World War II Airborne Demonstration Team, based out of Frederick Army Airfield, allows the public to go on World War II era C-47s and attend a parachuting class as part of their attempts to keep WWII history alive. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

Child looks out C-47 window

A family member from the 54th Air Refueling Squadron watches out the window of a C-47 Skytrain as it takes off, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield, Okla. The 54th ARS held a morale event where squadron members and their family had the opportunity to fly on a World War II era C-47. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

Man looks out C-47 window

U.S. Air Force Capt. Taylor Ellington looks out the window of a C-47 Skytrain as it flies over Oklahoma, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield, Okla. The C-47 was used primarily in World War II, responsible for exercising command and control over five combat cargo and troop carrier groups for the U.S. Army Air Corps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

Member of World War II Airborne Demonstration Team

A member of the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team watches as a C-47 Skytrain taxis onto the runway, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield, Okla. The World War II Airborne Demonstration Team is a nonprofit organization which focuses on honoring veterans from World War II by maintaining two flyable C-47s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

C-47 prepares for takeoff

“Boogie Baby,” a World War II C-47 Skytrain receives a maintenance check before flying, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield, Okla. Frederick Army Airfield is home to two operational C-47s which help educate the public on the World War II airborne infantry and paratrooper operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

Picture and title inside C-47

A picture and signature of Capt. James H. Goethe is mounted inside a C-47 Skytrain, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield, Okla. In honor of remembering the crew and members of the C-47 team that have served, their portraits and information are hung on the inside walls of the plane. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

Family looks out C-47 door

U.S. Air Force Maj. Trent Palmer and daughter, Charlotte Palmer, smile while looking out of a C-47 Skytrain door, April 6, 2019, at Frederick Army Airfield, Okla. The 54th Air Refueling Squadron held an event allowing members and their families to come together as a squadron to celebrate their success while incorporating Air Force heritage through older planes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The 54th Air Refueling Squadron hosted a heritage and squadron morale event to celebrate new and departing members, April 6, 2019, in Frederick, Okla.

The squadron celebrated its 77th anniversary at the Frederick Army Airfield with a flight on a World War II era C-47 Skytrain and the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team. This event gave the 54th ARS Airmen and families a unique opportunity to remember the C-47’s heritage.

“We want to continue with this relationship we have with the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team down in Frederick since they are part of our history” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Gadoury, the assistant flight commander of the operations flight at the 54th ARS.

During World War II, the C-47 was part of the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, responsible for exercising command and control over five combat cargo and troop carrier groups for the U.S. Army Air Corps. As the Air Force evolved into its own branch, the 54th TCW eventually became the 54th ARS, now home to the KC-135 Stratotanker.

To preserve the C-47 heritage, Frederick Army Airfield offers the public opportunities to fly and participate in skydiving classes in their two C-47’s.

“Their story is being lost over time and the guys at Frederick Army Airfield are able to reiterate their story,” said Gadoury. “You can feel their emotion when they talk to you about it and that is something special not everybody has anymore.”

This event allowed members of the 54th ARS and their families to come together as a team and celebrate their success while incorporating the long-standing heritage of the 54th ARS and their role within the Air Force.

 “It’s nice to always look back at our history and to know where we came from,” said Gadoury. “Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer World War II veterans alive today, so to keep their story and their legacy alive I think it’s important for future generations to participate in events related to that.”