War veteran, 81, makes long-awaited parachute jump

Last updated at 16:46 07 July 2006

A former paratrooper and veteran of the Second World War made his first parachute jump in more than 45 years today.

The 81-year-old hurled himself out a plane at 11,000ft to raise money for charity.

James Green made the tandem jump, attached to a Red Devil from the Parachute Regiment, at Kingsmuir Airfield near St Andrews in Fife.

After landing perfectly he said: "It was great, I want to do it again."

The Aberdeen grandfather-of-three is raising money for Erskine, a charity which cares for ex-servicemen and women, and the Parachute Regimental Association.

People over the age of 65 are normally not allowed to do a parachute jump but, after a medical, Mr Green was told he could take part in today's event.

The former paper mill worker, whose last jump was in 1960 with the Territorial Army, said: "I thoroughly enjoyed it. On the way down I was thinking a lot about the war. I want to do it again though, go back up again I enjoyed it so much."

Mr Green exited the aircraft attached to Red Devils tandem instructor Private Steven Candlish.

Pte Candlish said: "He really was a perfect pupil.

"We jumped at 11,000ft and went into a freefall for 40 seconds. He said he enjoyed the trapdoor effect when the canopy opened.

"We had a perfect stand-up landing."

Mr Green was presented with a bottle of champagne and a signed certificate. The veteran, who will be 82 in less than two weeks, served as a paratrooper during the war and was dropped behind enemy lines into Holland during the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944.

An army medic, he was a prisoner of war for nine months before being freed by the Red Army.

He added today: "It was a memorable experience and I've had such a great day."

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