89-year-old D-Day veteran recreates parachute jump into France

BY Lorna Baldwin  June 5, 2014 at 12:33 PM EST


Video by Channel 4 News

A day before the anniversary of D-Day, 89-year-old Jock Hutton recreated the parachute jump he made into a field in Normandy 70 years ago. In 1944 he was one of thousands of British and American soldiers who led the Allied assault on the German occupied lands across the English Channel. Hutton was 19 when he made the 500-foot jump, a member of the British Army’s 13th Parachute Battalion, 6th Airborne Division. Their job was to seize or destroy any bridges they came across to prevent German forces from stopping the Allies amphibious landing at dawn. Hutton told the Telegraph, “We thought we could handle anything – we were all jacked up. I must say that I felt in command of the situation. On landing, I thought, ‘This is great’.” Two weeks later he was wounded with an inch of shrapnel in the stomach, which has never been removed. “To this day I can still feel it,” the Scotsman says. “It comes to the surface and then goes away. I’ve had it for 70 years. My wee friend!”

The shrapnel hasn’t stopped Hutton from parachuting. Until last year, he was still making solo jumps in the Netherlands. Today’s jump was in tandem with a current member of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.