Before deploying to the Baltic region, two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft flew over the beaches of Normandy, France, as part of the commemoration ceremonies for D-Day 74.
Eight A-10C attack aircraft from the 107th FS of the 124th Fighter Wing Michigan Air National Guard, from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan, arrived on stopover at RAF Mildenhall, UK, on Friday May 31, 2018. The Warthogs of the “Red Devils” were on their way to Latvia where they are scheduled to take part in Saber Strike, an annual exercise in the nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania along the Baltic Sea in northern Europe.
One of the aircraft, 81-0994/MI, is a “unique” special-colored A-10C unveiled at Air National Guard Paint Facility in Sioux City, Iowa, on Aug. 3, 2017. The aircraft is painted with a special livery that commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Red Devils of the 107th Fighter Squadron, that is inspired to the P-51 (F-6A) of the 107th TRS, that flew the Mustang over Normandy during WWII.
On Jun. 3, 2018, along with another 107th FS “Warthog”, the “full special color” A-10 flew over the French coastline and Omaha Beach, Normandy, as part of the commemoration ceremonies for D-Day 74 – the 74th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flew multiple missions over Normandy during the lead up to D-Day and during the invasion itself. The flyover during the commemoration represents the first assigned mission for the 107th in France since World War II.
Following the demonstration, the two aircraft continued to their destination in Latvia with the support of a KC-135 tanker.
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.
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