D-Day veteran skydives again after 74 years
A D-DAY veteran has taken part in his first high-level skydive since he parachuted into Normandy 74 years ago.
Harry Read, 94, jumped 10,000 feet after taking to the skies from Old Sarum airfield in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Friday.
During the Second World War, Mr Read was a 20-year-old wireless operator and part of the Parachute Brigade landing in Normandy on June 6 1944.
To avoid attack during war time, parachuting would take place as close to the ground as possible.
“On that morning at 00.50 hours I parachuted into Normandy and 30 seconds later I was on the ground,” Mr Read said. “It was a very different experience to the one I just had.
“This was my first high-level skydive and whilst I was a little nervous I have always enjoyed the thrill of parachuting.
“It was amazing to experience the freefall and then cruising down was simply beautiful.
“I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this at my age. Before I could take part in the jump my doctor assured me my heart is as healthy as a middleaged man.”
Mr Read had previously seen other veterans taking part in skydives.
He decided to complete one himself after visiting the Normandy battlefields on an anniversary tour earlier this year.
His granddaughters Lianne, 37, Joanna, 39, and his greatandson Josh, 23, also took part he skydive. Mr Read is a life-long member e Salvation Army and rtook the jump to raise ey for the charity’s antifficking and modern slavery k in the UK. He has raised more than 4,000 so far and plans to jump again next year in Normandy, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. His JustGiving page can be found here: https://www. justgiving.com/fundraising/ harry-read.
Above, D-Day veteran Harry Read, 94, descends with chief instructor Ryan Mancey for charity; left, Harry calmly waiting his turn; inset, in uniform during the war.