WWII Paratrooper Celebrates 100th Birthday with Jump From Plane

World War II paratrooper Tom Rice celebrated his 100th birthday by jumping out of a plane in his California hometown, a jump honoring those who never made it home.

Tom Rice is known for recreating his jump into Normandy on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and he just did it again to celebrate his 100th birthday. 

The World War II veteran and former paratrooper jumped out of a plane and landed on the beachfront of the Hotel Del Coronado in his hometown of Coronado, California. He dedicated his jump to the 101st Airborne Division and “The 4 Colonels of Carenan,” in support of a monument being built in Normandy as a tribute to those who liberated Europe.

Just after landing, Rice said, “I feel great! Let’s go back up and do it again.” So, he jumped again, landing to cheers from his hometown.

“It was exhilarating. It was a replay of everything that took place in Europe, from the time that I landed in England,” Rice told Flying Magazine. “I think the whole city of Coronado was there. It was a happy day.”

Rice told NBC News, “I like to jump because it gives you a new vision of so many things that 90% of people will never be able to see.”

Rice hopes to jump again on his 101st birthday next year.  As for how he has lived to be 100 years old, Rice has some words of wisdom. “Stand up straight, talk straight, live straight, and move around. You’ve got to move around.”

Image source: NBC News