Published: Thu, June 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

97-year-old vet with the 101st parachutes again over Normandy

97-year-old vet with the 101st parachutes again over Normandy

US WWII veteran Tom Rice (C) reacts next to Mayor of Carentan Jean-Pierre Lhonneur (L) after taking part in a parachute drop over in France.

US Army veteran Tom Rice got to recreate his D-Day parachute jump on Wednesday - at the grand old age of 97.

"It went flawless, ideal jump", Rice said after his most recent jump, according to The Associated Press.

"I feel great", he said after the jump, per AP.

The AP report said that Rice ended up jumping into "roughly the same area he landed in on D-Day".

"I got my left armpit caught in the lower left hand corner of the door so I swung out, came back and hit the side of the aircraft, swung out again and came back, and I just tried to straighten my arm out and I got free", he told The Associated Press in an interview.

Tom Rice said later it was a ideal jump: "I feel great".

Like many other veterans, he said he remains troubled by the war. He called the 1944 jump "the worst jump I ever had".

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"I'm obviously delighted and extremely surprised to be No. 1 on this particular chart, and I hope it does well because the more copies are downloaded, the more money we'll have to pay for this wonderful memorial we're building here", Radford said in a recorded statement.

Rice - a former paratrooper with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, known as the "Screaming Eagles" - trained six months for the opportunity to make the jump over Normandy one last time. We did a lot of destruction, damage. "You can close the issue now", he said. The operation set the stage for liberation of German-occupied France during World War II.

World leaders including United States president Donald Trump, French president Emmanuel Macron and United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May attended a ceremony to honour the more than 10,000 Allied troops who were killed or injured in the offensive.

D-Day saw more than 150,000 Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy in northwest France on June 6, 1944, carried by 7,000 boats.

Radford will use any money raised from the success of the single to fund the construction of a British Normandy Memorial, featuring the names of the 22,442 men and women serving under British command who died that day.

Two veterans from Alabama, Sherwin Callander and George Mills, shared their experiences ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day during a segment for CBS News.

Dozens of world leaders including US President Donald Trump attended, while President Vladimir Putin - who attended 70th-anniversary celebrations five years ago - hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Moscow.

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