Life gets boring, says 89-year-old parachutist
“At my age life tends to get a wee bit boring. So you’ve got to grab at any chance at excitement!”
That was what 89-year-old D-Day veteran Jock Hutton said after he had jumped from a plane at 5,000 feet on Thursday.
It was the second time Jock Hutton has parachuted into Normandy. The first, was 70 years ago when he was just 19 and a member of the 13th Battalion of Britain’s Parachute Regiment and was part of the first wave of troops taking part in the Allied invasion of continental Europe.
This time, nobody was shooting at him.
In a concession to Hutton’s advanced age, this year’s skydive was undertaken in tandem with a member of the Red Devils, Colour Sergeant Billy Blanchard. But it was ten times higher than his first jump.
The moment the pair landed, the 89-year-old veteran proudly donned the red beret which marks him out as among the bravest of the brave, a former member of the Parachute Regiment.
Dusting himself off, he then marched across the field to the future King, Prince Charles, who waited for the veteran to dust himself off before stepping forward to shake his hand.
“They (the Red Devils) made me feel very relaxed but I wanted to get out of that door!” Hutton said.
“We dropped very low (on D-Day). We didn’t have as much time in the air as we did just then. We smashed into the ground ... my tailbone is now my collarbone!”
This seasoned soldier, who after the war served for four decades with the Rhodesian SAS, bridled at suggestions he had been scared.
“During my lifetime, sir, I have never been terrified,” he said. “I’m just a vicious little Scotsman.”