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Paratroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day Landings

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 06 Jun 2019 13:42
Paratroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsParatroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsPA

Paratroopers in their 90s jumped out of Dakota war planes across Normandy earlier to mark 75 years since the D-Day landings.

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Around 280 brave men took part in the jump to re-enact the bravery shown by the soldiers all those years ago.

The men included veterans of World War 2, including 90-year-old Harry Read, who was spotted landing in Sannerville to crowds of supporters.

Paratroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsParatroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsPA

Pictures emerged showing aircraft taking to the skies in Cambridgeshire at the Imperial War Museum, before making their way to France to honour those who died in the fighting on June 6, 1944.

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Emotional veterans gathered in Portsmouth Duxford and Normandy as the Queen and Donald Trump paid tribute the bravery of those who fought on the front line.

The impressive display brought to life the victorious efforts made by Allied troops who successfully completed the first step in terms of taking down the Nazis with the offensive.

British paratroopers followed in the footsteps of American veterans who also made the leap, including 97-year-old Ex 82nd Airborne paratrooper Tom Rice, from San Diego, California.

Paratroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsParatroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsPA

Mr Rice jumped very close to the spot he originally landed at on D-Day, near Carentan, which is a town among the main targets for paratroopers.

As per Mail Online, he said: ‘It went perfect, perfect jump. I feel great. I’d go up and do it all again.’

The tributes were led by the only surviving member of the unit behind the daring Pegasus Bridge operation. 93-year-old Reg Charles paid tribute to his fallen comrades and he is the last surviving member of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry which helped to secure two key bridges in Normandy.

The 300 veterans were also joined by more than 4,000 personnel who were involved in D-Day events in the UK and France today, which amounted to one of the biggest mobilisations of UK Armed Forces in recent years.

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Paratroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsParatroopers In Their 90s Parachute Into Normandy For 75th Anniversary Of D-Day LandingsPA

In Portsmouth, Sergeant John Jenkins, 99, received a standing ovation from the Queen and President Trump as he led the tributes. Mr Jenkins was serving with the Pioneer Corps on D-Day and landed on Gold Beach on June 8 in 1944.

In his speech, he said:

Obviously I will think of all my mates that didn’t come back. I can’t say any particular one because we were all comrades together, that was the thing. We were all comrades together and that’s what carries us through.

The comradeship was really something quite marvellous. It is something that will last in my memory for a long time.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, D Day, France, normandy, paratroops, veterans, World War 2

Credits

Mail Online
  1. Mail Online

    Veterans now in their 90s parachute into Normandy again 75 years after they jumped on D-Day to start invasion that liberated Europe - as Trump and May head to France for day of memorials tomorrow