Home » D-Day paratroopers met by French customs in Normandy for 80th anniversary

D-Day paratroopers met by French customs in Normandy for 80th anniversary

British paratroopers have been met by French customs officers after landing in Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Videos emerged on social media showing the troops landing in a French field carrying their heavy bags, only to be forced to show their passports and documents to the officers.

In the background of the video, shared to X by journalist Jerome Starky, a swarm of other paras can be seen landing after jumping out of a plane in commemoration of the Normandy landings.

The landings occurred on June 6, 1944 when the Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate France from the Germans in what would be the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Now, 80 years on, events marking this piece of history take place in Europe to pay tribute to the soldiers and celebrate the event that laid the groundwork for the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Some 400 British, Belgian, Canadian, and US paratroopers took part in the jump, descending into a historic D-Day drop zone to recreate the events of 1944.

At 1pm, the paratroopers launched themselves out of an Airbus A400M, touching down roughly eight minutes later in fields near Sannerville – designated drop zone K on June 6 1944.

According to reports from the scene, there was a brief scare when two jumpers came perilously close to one another, but in the end, everything went smoothly.

The British Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade sent 250 paratroopers to the event, among whom was Sergeant Danny Mawson who wore a smock worn by D-Day paratrooper Colour Sergeant Tommy Alderson.

Just yesterday, it was announced that the drop had to be scaled back due to Ministry of Defence cutbacks. The original plan was to have paras jumping out of four planes, but this was reduced to just one.

A senior source in the regiment told the Mail that this was a result of “shameful, short-sighted cost-cutting” and “an insult to those who made the ultimate sacrifice”.

A Parachute Regiment source said: “While we don’t put on a big show every year, the 80th anniversary is being seen as special as it’s probably the last milestone for surviving veterans.”

On home soil, Rishi Sunak and members of the Royal Family are in Portsmouth meeting with veterans and making speeches in honour of the 80th anniversary.

Actors have also read from letters and diaries of those impacted by or involved in D-Day, including Phil Dunster and Dame Helen Mirren – who is hosting the event.