Badassery has no age limit.
Tuesday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the pivotal Allied invasion of Normandy that helped turn the tide of World War II. Along with soldiers who landed by sea the 1944 invasion force also involved thousands of paratroopers, who parachuted into hostile territory in advance of the landing forces.
Now, according to the Associated Press , some of those men are reprising their jumps on the anniversary of that fateful day, including 97-year-old D-Day veteran Tom Rice.
Along with others Rice jumped out of a C-47 transport plane on Tuesday to land in a field of wildflowers in the French countryside.
According the the AP Rice was ebullient after his jump saying:
“It went perfect, perfect jump. I feel great. I’d go up and do it all again.”
In contrast, Rice told the AP that his jump on D-Day itself had been a near disaster which involved both getting caught on the exit door while jumping out and having a bullet strike his parachute. Rice called his jump on that fateful day “the worst jump I ever had” explaining: “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.”
This time around things went a lot more smoothly for this brave veteran. The absence of enemy machine gun fire probably helped.
You can watch the dramatic footage of Rice’s jump here.
h/t: The Associated Press