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British war veteran, 97, parachutes over the Dutch city he was captured in

parachute jump for Arnhem

Veteran Sandy Cortmann arrived at the Ginkel Heath commemorations today by a tandem jump (Picture: Cpl Robert Weideman/MOD/PA)

A 97-year-old war veteran who was captured in Arnhem parachuted over the Dutch city to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden.

Sandy Cortmann, from Aberdeen, tandem dropped with the Red Devils on to Ginkel Heath in front of a crowd of thousands of people, including Prince Charles.

In 1944, Mr Cortmann was just 22 when he parachuted onto the same drop zone as part of one of the wars most ill-fated operations.

Prince Charles, the colonel-in-chief of the Parachute Regiment, was joined by Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands at a ceremony to mark the anniversary.

After touching down, Mr Cortmann waved to crowds from his wheelchair and took his place for a memorial service.

The Prince of Wales, dressed in the regimental uniform, laid a wreath during the service and congratulated Mr Cortmann when he met several of the last band of surviving veterans from Operation Market Garden.

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epa07858946 Britain's Charles, Prince of Wales (C) talks with British veteran Sandy Cortmann (L) after a paradropping on the Ginkel Heath during the commemorations of the Operation Market Garden 75th anniversary in Ede, the Netherlands, 21 September 2019. During the World War II, the Allies launched an airborne landing at the Dutch town Arnhem in September 1944. It was codenamed Operation Market Garden. EPA/Vincent Jannink

Prince of Wales (C) talks with British veteran Sandy Cortmann after the jump (Picture: EPA)

Mr Cortmann said his jump was thoroughly terrifying.

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He added: When the door opened I thought, Christ, what a way down.

It was absolutely wonderful to see the ground so far below, my God.

Mr Cortmann said the jump was different from the one he made more than seven decades before.

He revealed: We were just a bunch of young lads out for a good time if you like, but it turned out rather terrifying in the end with the guns and mortars and things opened up.

They were all aimed at us.

Mr Cortmanns friend and ex-paratrooper Gary Haughton, 52, who lives in Aberdeen, revealed some of the details of the conversation between the war hero and Prince Charles.

The Prince said: He puts me to shame, I should have been up there with him.

He cant be everywhere, Mr Cortmann joked.

Prince Charles attends a commemorative service and wreath-laying at Ginkel Heath on Ginkel Heath near Ede . The Prince is Colonel-in-Chief of The Parachute Regiment and The Army Air Corps. 1500 paratroopers from Great Britain, USA, The Netherlands and Poland are parachuting onto the Heath as part of the Operation Market Garden 75th anniversary commemorations near Arnhem, Netherlands. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 21, 2019. A host of commemorative events are being held this week in and around the city of Arnhem, as Second World War veterans and military personnel mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden which saw some of the war's bloodiest fighting and claimed the lives of more than 1,500 British soldiers and saw nearly 6,500 captured. See PA story MEMORIAL Arnhem. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Prince Charles attends a commemorative service and wreath-laying at Ginkel Heath on Ginkel Heath near Ede (Picture: PA)

Handout dated 221/09/19 issued by the MoD showing veteran Sandy Cortmann (left), 97. The Parachute Regiment veteran from Aberdeen, arrived at the Ginkel Heath commemorations today by a tandem jump with The Red Devils British Army Parachute display team as part of the Operation Market Garden 75th anniversary commemorations near Arnhem, Netherlands. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday September 21, 2019. See PA story MEMORIAL Arnhem. Photo credit should read: Cpl Robert Weideman/MOD/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image<a href=https://metro.co.uk/2019/09/21/british-war-veteran-97-parachutes-over-the-dutch-city-he-was-captured-in-10784170/>Read More – Source</a></p>
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