97-year-old army vet marks D-Day anniversary with parachute jump

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USA veteran Tom Rice lands during a commemorative parachute jump over Carentan on the Normandy coast, ahead of the 75th D-Day anniversary, on June 5, 2019.

A 97-year-old US veteran parachuted into Normandy on Wednesday - 75 years after he made the same journey on D-Day.

"It went flawless, ideal jump", Rice said after his jump.

With the simple words "OK, let's go", General Dwight Eisenhower set in motion the greatest military attack in history.

The clouds of jumpers, with round 'chutes akin to those used by D-Day soldiers, were honouring the thousands of paratroopers who leapt into gunfire and death 75 years ago.

"I am sure that anyone with imagination must dislike the thought of what's coming", his letter said.

Radford has overtaken Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber's song I Don't Care, which has slipped into second, with Billie Eilish's Bad Guy at number three. He landed safely despite some problems exiting the plane and a bullet going through his parachute.

"Perfect jump", said Rice, who worked with a trainer for six months to be ready to jump in tandem with another parachutist.

He added: "Some of them couldn't handle it".

Their engines throbbing, C-47 transporters dropped group after group of parachutists. "It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country -indeed the whole free world- that I say to you all, thank you".

In the UK, Queen Elizabeth II and world leaders including US President Donald Trump gathered to mark the landings that, at great human cost, turned the tide of World War II and helped liberate Europe from Nazi occupation.

Many troops were violently seasick, some drowned, while others were gunned down as soon as landing craft opened their hatches.

World War II Spitfire and Hurricane fighter jets, modern-day Typhoons and the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows aerobatic unit swooped over dignitaries, veterans and spectators in southern England's Portsmouth - the embarkation point for the Allied force that invaded Nazi-occupies France in June 1944.

Moscow, which had been fighting German forces in the east for nearly three years by the time of D-Day, and gradually pushing them back from early 1943, had been urging Britain's Winston Churchill to open a second front as far back as August 1942.

The event, which kicked off two days of D-Day anniversary observances, paid tribute to the troops who shaped history during the risky mission to reach beachheads and fight in German-occupied France.

Other jumps are planned later today involving British veterans at Sannerville as part of events marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Also the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the British Prime Minister Theresa May are expected to attend the military ceremony.

The leader of the country that was the enemy in 1944, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also attended- a symbol of Europe's postwar reconciliation and transformation.

D-Day established another front in Europe, locking Germany into conflict in France, Italy and Russian Federation.

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