101 year old D-Day veteran honoured for record-breaking skydive

Verdun Hayes leapt into the record books aged 101 and 38 days. Credit: Skydive Buzz

A 101-year old D-Day veteran from Somerset has been greeted by a Gurkha guard of honour after becoming the oldest person ever to skydive.

Verdun Hayes was presented with a certificate at Royal British Legion's Somerset House to mark the occasion.


feet - the height Verdun Hayes jumped from

Mr Hayes was given an honour guard formed by members of the Gurkhas. Credit: ITV News

The record breaking veteran did his first parachute jump last year to celebrate his 100th birthday.

After enjoying the experience, he set his sights on the world record and earlier this year prepared to make history.

"It won't take long. Going down will be quicker than going up I expect."

Verdun Hayes on the morning of his jump
Verdun Hayes was excited to leap into the history books. Credit: Skydive Buzz

As he left the plane and descended to earth, Mr Hayes was falling at a top speed of 120 miles per hour for around two miles before reaching the ground.

At 101 years and 38 days old, this made it official that Mr Hayes was the oldest person in history to perform a tandem skydive.


The top speed at which Mr Hayes was falling

The event was a family affair with Mr Hayes completing the dive alongside his son, grandson and great-grandson.

Mr Hayes completed the dive with his son, grandson and great-grandson. Credit: Skydive Buzz

The veteran was clear that he had enjoyed the experience.

"It was beautiful. I'd do it again tomorrow."

Verdun Hayes

Mr Hayes says he plans to add to his extraordinary list of achievements by performing a wing-walk next year.

Mr Hayes says his skydive is just the beginning. Credit: Skydive Buzz