Following a year hiatus, Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), in Atlanta, GA will host their much-loved Good Neighbor Day Air Show and Open House event on May 11, 2024. This year’s show will focus on the 80th anniversary of D-Day. The D-Day operation of June 6, 1944, brought together the land, air, and sea forces of the Allied armies in what became known as the largest amphibious invasion in military history. The operation, given the codename OVERLORD, delivered five naval assault divisions to the beaches of Normandy, France.

The D-Day Squadron gathered US-based C-47s to fly to Europe in 2019 to take part in the Daks Over Normandy celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. The effort will be repeated again in few weeks. (photo by Tom Demerly via D-Day Squadron)

“We are excited to bring back our air show,” said airport interim director Hunter Hines. “Due to airport construction, we haven’t been able to organize the air show last year. The Good Neighbor Day has become a tradition in Atlanta, and the longest-running air show in the region. We look forward to hosting families and aviation enthusiasts once again.”

Dekalb-Peachtree Airport has a rich military history. A century ago, the present-day airport’s grounds lay within Camp Gordon, a U.S. Army training base during World War I. In 1940, the U.S. Navy acquired a small tract of this land and formally commissioned it as a Naval Reserve airfield by March of the following year. By the end of 1942, the base had grown so large that it became a fully-fledged Naval Air Station. During the war years, the Navy continued to expand the grounds, acquiring a considerable amount of property directly west of the airport from civilian owners, either by purchase or condemnation; they erected a number of new permanent buildings on this land.

F4U-4 Corsairs on the line at NAS Atlanta (now Dekalb-Peachtree Airport) during the early 1950s. (photo by Will Tate)

However, despite its growth, it wasn’t too long after WWII that the demands of modern jets and large patrol bombers began outstripping what was available at PDK, both in terms of facilities and runway lengths. As a result, the U.S. Navy built a permanent Naval Air Station outpost adjoining Dobbins Air Force Base near Marietta, Georgia, to benefit from that airfield’s longer runways. As the move took place, the Navy initiated the incremental return of their now-former air station in Chamblee to DeKalb County; the airport falling fully within their control during 1959 when it became fully available for civilian use.

“In 2022 we dedicated the air show to the 80th anniversary +1  of NAS Atlanta; this year we are dedicating to the D-Day 80th anniversary. D-Day led to the liberation of France, denying Germany any further exploitation, and helped to end World War II. It was one of the most ambitious and consequential military campaigns in human history. Our goal is to always organize events with our military and aviation history in mind while honoring the women and the men that serve our country,” noted Hines.

Thom Richard and his P-40 Warhawk “American Dream” will be performing in the airshow. Photo by Mike Killian

Antique airplanes, military aircraft, and DeKalb County fire trucks and ambulances will be on display at PDK during the airport’s open house from noon until 5 p.m. (gates will open at 10:00 am). While there is no admission charge, parking is priced at $20 per vehicle. The open house will take place at the airport (formal address being 2000 Airport Rd, Atlanta, GA 30341). Cars may enter from Clairmont Road and, until 1:30 pm, from Dresden Drive as well.