Liberty Jump Team will parachute into Normandy to commemorate D-Day
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - On June 6, 1944, more than 13,000 American paratroopers dropped from the skies over the northern coast of France. It was the first wave of D-Day in Normandy.
Around the anniversary of the allied invasion, retired military paratroopers from the Liberty Jump Team descend on Normandy in a reenactment and commemoration event.
It will happen again this year.
"I have made approximately nine jumps in Normandy," retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Foundas said.
Foundas worked in special operations and served for 28 years. He’s been with the Jump Team since it started.
“The Liberty Jump Team is an organization that was founded in 2006. One of our missions and one of our charter is to recognize and remember veterans from the Great War, World War II,” he said.
This year Foundas, 55, will parachute four times over Normandy, landing in areas where major battles took place. He’s military buff.
“I’m a living interpreter,” he said.
Liberty Jump Team members are ex-military, active duty and reservists. They parachute wearing World War II uniforms and carrying authentic equipment.
They jump from vintage C-47s that flew in the Normandy Invasion. Some of Foundas’s gear is from that war.
He’s the only Liberty Jump Team member from Hawaii. The Normandy experience allows him to meet men who fought on D-Day.
"There was one gentleman that I talked to several years ago. He said that his plane broke up 200 feet above the ground. He was barely able to get out," Foundas said.
This year the Liberty team will take four World War II veterans to Normandy .
"There is a 96-year-old gentleman that will go tandem with one of the demonstration teams," he said.
Foundas made about 70 jumps while on active duty. He has parachuted more than 30 times with the Liberty Jump Team.
"As long as I'm physically fit I think I can do it," he said.
The team performs at shows throughout the year, but Normandy is hallowed airspace.
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