D-Day Landings: Veterans parachute into Normandy after 75 years

Today marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the D-Day Landings – the start of the liberation from Nazi stronghold areas. On 6, June 1944 thousands of Allied Forces sailed, flew and marched into Nazi occupied land.

This morning saw two British veterans parachute into Normandy, just like they did so on D-Day all those years ago.

Jumping out of the Cessna aircraft, which was flying between 800ft and 1,000ft, Harry Read, 95, and John Hutton, 94, were followed by a 5,000sq ft Union Flag.

A momentous experience for both Harry and John, it was a moment that is sure to have brought back many memories.


Harry took part in a tandem jump with the Red Devils – following their display of 280 parachutists in Sannerville yesterday (5 June) afternoon. For John, he flew from Duxford in Cambridgeshire to land in the French fields overlooked by poppies.

John landed in the original drop zone for the 8th (Midlands) Parachute Battalion, who went onto compromise bridges to restrict German Military movement.

The experience of jumping from the plane was significantly different for both Harry and John compared to their original experiences.


Credit: Corporal Robert Weideman/AFP/Getty Images

Back in 1944, Harry was a wireless operator with the Royal Signals. When he jumped from his plane on D-Day, Harry had a battery the size and weight of a toolbox strapped to his right leg.

Harry enthuses: “I feel good. My health is good and my mind is still ticking away very nicely.

“I thought the jump was brilliant. I just had thoughts of anticipation after looking forward to it. Everything is worth the wait. The jump was wonderful in every way.”

He added: “I don’t think I’ll do another jump again.”

For John, who served in the 13th Lancashire Parachute Battalion, added: “It’s great to be back on French soil.”

This is just one spectacular event that Allied veterans across the world are participating in to remember the iconic D-Day Landings.

Follow all our D-Day coverage over on Twitter.

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