WOII veteran John Jeffries jumps this time without the risk of being shot

Foto: Baverstock and Pasley

The 95-year old veteran John Jeffries isn’t scared easily, he wasn’t in 1944 and neither 73 years later. He will jump, for the second time in a week notice, with a parachute from a plane.

When he did during Operation Market Garden, he was shot by a sniper but there is no risk at being hit this time.

Ginkel Heath

Monday 18 September 1944 jumped out of the plane above the Ginkel Heath in Ede. He was a member of the Royal Corps of Signals attached to the 4th Parachute Brigade. He was delighted to be a part of the liberation of The Netherlands, he told several years ago at The Marnic College in Ede. He thought his battalion would wipe out the Germans in no time, but it turn out different.

In the air, with his parachute already opened, he got hit by a bullet but he didn’t felt the wound before he fell on the ground. On a stretcher (his wound filled with cotton wool, drenched in a disinfectant) he was carried away. At first to the Tafelberg until it got attacked by the Germans.

Eventually he was captured and became a prisoner of war. He endured some of Germany’s POW camps, made a daring escape attempt and was eventually liberated by US forces

He wasn’t able to talk about the war and all he endured. For 18 years now, he is traveling to the Netherlands, he didn’t have the guts before. Now he talks a lot about that time, preferably with (school)children to tell them about his experiences.

70 Years

For the first time in 70 years, he made a parachute jump last Friday. He did this to create attention for the Northumbria Blood Bikes. A registered charity established by local volunteers to deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies.

He made a tandem-jump with The Red Devils, the official parachute display team of both The Parachute Regiment (The Paras) and the British Army. A short movie of this sympathetic hero you’ll find at the bottom.

veteraan veteranAnd like that isn’t enough, John will jump again next Friday morning. This time with The Pathfinder Parachute Group above the Renkums Heath on DropZone X.

The city of Renkum is very excited for his, and the glider pilots landings for the commemoration of this historic event.

Spirit

In February 2016 a book was published, written by John:: A Spirit for Adventure. As an orphan he and his sister grew up with the Sisters of Mercy. As soon he was old enough, he left to find his family and to make a life of his own.

With the outbreak of WWII, John did his part on the home front before being called up to the army in 1941. He went in good cheer and determination.

The spirit John Jeffries held inside, is at the age of 95 clearly not faded!

 

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