Resurrection Lutheran Men’s Group Relives 75th D-Day Anniversary

Duane Hartzler

It wasn’t Veterans Day, but it could have been at the Jan. 7th Resurrection Church Men’s Breakfast. Ron McNutt opened the meeting and Gary Zellinger gave the opening prayer. Committee chair, Al Toensing, introduced Col. Tim Tarris, a retired USAF officer.

Col. Tarris gave an enthusiastic presentation showing videos of when he joined the Commemorative Air Force to help take a historical aircraft to Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day and to Berlin, Germany for the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.

Col. Tarris was the project officer of the D-Day Doll to Normandy 2019. The aircraft is known as D-Doll, a C-53D “Skytrooper” that participated in D-Day and the European Theater of operations in 1944-45. It is basically a DC-3 designed to drop paratroopers and tow gliders. It flew three missions on D-Day.

There were 27 aircraft of this type present for the 2019 event. It took 20 hours to fly from the U.S. to Scotland all below 10,000 feet. The D-Day Doll crossed the English Channel three times on June 5, 2019, duplicating her 1944 mission. The mission was flown to honor all veterans and the sacrifices of the greatest generation.

Col. Tarris said, “Personally, it was an honor and privilege to participate in these historic events.”

Col. Tarris grew up in northern Ohio and graduated from Clyde High School in 1967. He graduated from Waldorf Jr. College in 1970 with an AA, a BA from Capital University in 1973, and an MBA from Eastern New Mexico University in 1977. In 1973, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. He flew various fighter aircraft including the F-111, A-7, F-16, and KC-135 during his Air Force career. He retired as a Colonel in 2003.

The Resurrection Church Men’s Breakfasts take place on the first Saturday of the month, October through May. Meeting place is the Outreach Center at the main campus in Oro Valley. Time is 7:30 a.m. (open at 7 a.m. for coffee and social time). Guests are welcome and meeting is adjourned by 9 a.m.

The breakfasts are organized by a five-member steering committee, and four of the five members of that group (Duane Hartzler, Ron Mc Nutt, Al Toensing, and Gary Zellinger) are residents of SaddleBrooke. Anyone interested in attending may contact any committee member.

Resurrection Church at SaddleBrooke holds its all-denominational Sunday worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the Vermilion Room at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. All are welcome.