Fact Check: Posts Claim WWII Veteran, 97, Returned to Normandy to Re-Create D-Day Parachute Jump. Here Are the Facts

X account @RealPizzaPepe
X account @RealPizzaPepe


A 97-year-old World War II veteran returned to Normandy on the most recent anniversary of the D-Day landings to re-create his parachute jump.


Rating: Outdated
Rating: Outdated


Former paratrooper Tom Rice did return to Normandy on June 6, 2019, the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, to re-create his jump. However, most online posts recounting the story fail to note the year the re-creation took place, instead implying that it was a recent event. Rice died in 2022 at the age of 101.


On June 6, 2024, an X user posted a video of a 97-year-old World War II veteran returning to Normandy to recreate his D-Day jump.

The footage was uploaded on the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings and was captioned: "Incredible! 97-year-old WW2 paratrooper vet returns to Normandy to recreate his D-Day jump."

Although the X post did not specify when the clip was recorded, the fact it was uploaded on the 80th anniversary of the Allied operation, and that a subsequent post said, "He's definitely still got it," suggests the person who posted it believed the video was made on June 6, 2024.

Other X users also appeared to believe it was from the 80th-anniversary commemorations. One wrote: "97-year old WW2 paratrooper still vacations in France the old-fashioned way."

"This 97 year old man is still jumping out of airplanes," another said.

A third added: "Old man loved it. Hes still in good shape. Moving around great, and his mind is still sharp it seems, joking around. Amazing for someone pushing a full century."

However, although the video was real and did show veteran paratrooper Sgt. Tom Rice returning to Normandy to recreate his D-Day landing, the footage was actually recorded on June 6, 2019 — the 75th anniversary of the operation, which is why we have rated this claim as "Outdated."

Numerous credible news outlets reported Rice's 75th anniversary jump and included parts of the footage in their coverage.

Getty also published multiple photos from the event.

Rice, of the 501st Regiment of the 101st Airborne, died on Nov. 17, 2022, according to several news reports.


CBS Evening News. 97-Year-Old Veteran Parachutes Back to Normandy. 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2ctATya1NY.

'Former Students Celebrate Memory of 101-Year-Old World War II Veteran Tom Rice'. NBC 7 San Diego, 19 Nov. 2022, https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/former-students-celebrate-memory-of-101-year-old-wwii-veteran-tom-rice/3102984/.

'Thomas Rice, 97 Years Old Native of Coronado, California, Sergeant In...' Getty Images, 4 June 2019, https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/thomas-rice-97-years-old-native-of-coronado-california-news-photo/1148037893.

TODAY. Tom Rice, WWII Paratrooper And American Hero, Dies At 101. 2022. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaZQbXVxaYA.

Twitter, et al. 'Tom Rice, WWII D-Day Paratrooper Who Continued to Jump out of Planes, Dies at 101'. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2022, https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/obituaries/story/2022-11-18/tom-rice-wwii-d-day-paratrooper-who-continued-to-jump-out-of-planes-dies-at-101.

'US WWII Veteran Tom Rice Takes Part in a Parachute Drop Over...' Getty Images, 5 June 2019, https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/veteran-tom-rice-takes-part-in-a-parachute-drop-over-news-photo/1148104112.

Waxman, Gabe Ramirez, Craig. '97-Year-Old Vet Jumps out of a Plane for D-Day'. CNN, 5 June 2019, https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/ww2-parachute-tom-rice/index.html.

'"Woo-Hoo!" D-Day Vet, 97, Parachutes Over Normandy 75 Years Later: I "Represent" a "Generation"'. Peoplemag, https://people.com/human-interest/tom-rice-97-d-day-parachute-jump/. Accessed 7 June 2024.