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Fri, Jun 07, 2019

D-Day Veteran Returns To Normandy By Parachute

On The Eve Of The 75th Anniversary Of The Invasion, Tom Rice Drops In Once Again

On June 6th, 1944, Tom Rice arrived in Normandy, France via parachute at the beginning of the D-Day invasion. On June 5th, 2019, he did it again on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the event.

Rice participated in a tandem jump from a C-47 transport plane, one of about 200 skydivers who reenacted the initial stage of the invasion. Now 97 years old, Rice said it went "perfect. I'd go up and do it all again," according to a report from Fox News.

Rice was with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division 75 years ago. He said on that jump, he got caught in the door as he exited the airplane, but he managed to free it and get out. At least one bullet tore through his canopy as he descended, he told the Associated Press.

He said that the main difference between the two jumps was that the 1944 jump was done at night, while this was a daytime jump so he could see where he was. And this time, no one was shooting at them, and he and his tandem jumper were flying an American flag.

Rice worked with a physical trainer for six months to prepare for the anniversary jump. The LZ was a field of wildflowers outside of Carentan, which was one of the landing zones for the paratroopers jumping into occupied France.

While Rice said he remains troubled by the destruction caused by the war, but said returning to Normandy was "a matter of closure" for him.

(Image from YouTube video posted by AFP News)

FMI: Source report

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