Paratroopers recreate D-Day jump in Normandy that helped change history

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Hundreds of US and European paratroopers have made a commemorative jump over the countryside of northern France in honour of Allied servicemen who went behind enemy lines on D-Day.

Thousands parachuted into German-occupied Normandy, hours before the seaborne assault on the beaches began on June 61944.

Veterans who took part in the dangerous night-time operation 70 years ago have returned to see the 2014 descent.

“It is good to see 800 paratroopers jump here today but the night that we came in, we had 800 airplanes with 10,000 paratroopers that we dropped that night, you know, so it was a little more and it was dark,” said Julian “Bud” Rice, a veteran C-47 pilot who participated in the wartime airdrop.

Normandy has been the scene of strong emotions this week as the dramatic events of D-Day are remembered.

Sunday’s commemorative airdrop took place near the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, one of the first in mainland France to be liberated during the Second World War.