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Aircraft flown by Alabama Airman during D-Day Invasion Visits Birmingham

  • Published
  • By Mr. Ken Johnson
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

A military cargo aircraft that dropped the first paratroopers into Normandy during the D-Day Invasion arrived here at the 117th Air Refueling Wing on April 9th at 10:00 a.m.

The renovated Douglas C-47 Skytrain named “That’s All Brother” is at the Atlantic East Ramp in Birmingham from April 9-14 for the D-Day 75th Anniversary world tour.

John Munnerlyn Donalson, a pilot from the 106th Observation Squadron with the Alabama National Guard, and his six man crew on “That’s All Brother” dropped their paratroopers on target at 12:44 a.m. before returning to England on June 6, 1944.

“It’s a great way to recognize the heroic acts of Donalson and his crew but also everyone that was in D-Day,” said Lt. Col. Mike Adams, Commander of the 106th Air Refueling Squadron.

Donalson joined the Alabama National Guard as an observation pilot trainee and graduated flight school in Texas with Charles Lindberg in 1925. Donalson became an influential pilot and officer in the 106th Bombardment Squadron. He was later promoted to Brigadier General after assuming command of the 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Donalson was the founding Commander of the Alabama Air National Guard when the Air Force became a separate branch in 1947. He retired as a Major General and was the second person inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame.

For more information on the aircraft please visit