Found in Wisconsin and restored, the C-47 named That's All, Brother will drop paratrooper re-enactors over the French coast in June, 75 years after the 1944 landings.
Air Force historians found the plane in an aviation graveyard and verified its existence through military and Federal Aviation Administration records before it could be torn apart.
Pilot Tom Travis said: “Somebody found the tail number. Traced it down and found it in a - I won't say junk yard - but it was in a restoration yard in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
"And they were lucky enough to get it before it was cannabilised and turned into another airplane."
It's now operated by the Texas-based Commemorative Air Force, which preserves military aircraft.
This year's D-Day commemoration could be the last great remembrance of the Allied attack to include D-Day veterans, many of whom are now in their 90s.