On a number of occasions, we have reported on various skydiving jumps that we feel may be of interest to many of you who are involved in this exiting sport. This latest jump involves a World War 2 veteran who has not parachuted for 74 years until a few days ago.
The gentleman in question is called Harry Read and he is a mere 94 years of age. At the age of 20, on the 6th June 1944, he landed in Normandy by parachute whilst working as a wireless operator. In those days, parachutists left using their parachutes until they were as close to the ground as they could safely get presumably to help avoid detection by the enemy. Apparently, back then it only took in the region of 30 seconds from jumping out of the plane to landing on the ground.
Mr Read made the jump a few days ago at the Old Sarum Airfield near Salisbury in Wiltshire in tandem with the Chief Instructor by the name of Ryan Mancey. He had been given a clean bill of health by his doctor. On this occasion, you will be pleased to read that he was raising money for the Salvation Army’s Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery section. He has been a member of the Salvation Army for many, many years and was awarded the Chevalier in 2016 with this being the highest honour in France.
He certainly is a brave chap and, next year, to celebrate a 75th anniversary, he hopes to do another skydive.
Supporters at the jump included his grand daughters and great grandson so it was very much a family occasion.
Those of you who have skydived will no doubt appreciate how brave Mr Read was to complete such a jump especially at his time of life. There cannot be many people in their 90’s who have skydived from 10,000ft. We will keep you advised of any other interesting jumps that may take place on the next few months. Congratulations to Mr Read from all of us here at AIB Insurance.