Moment British paras are made to show their passports to French officials after D-Day jump into Normandy

6 June 2024, 10:48 | Updated: 6 June 2024, 10:52

400 British, Belgian, Canadian and US paratroopers jump to commemorate the contribution of airborne forces on D-Day
400 British, Belgian, Canadian and US paratroopers jump to commemorate the contribution of airborne forces on D-Day. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

British paratroopers who landed in Normandy for a jump commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day were forced to show their passports to French customs.

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Video footage being widely shared online shows British troops landing in a French field carrying full kit only to be asked to show their passports to waiting customs officials who had set up a makeshift passport control on trestle tables in the grass.

A queue formed in front of the French officials as the paras waited to have their passports scanned.

British paratroopers were met by French customs officials as they landed in Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day
British paratroopers were met by French customs officials as they landed in Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Picture: Shutterstock

300 British, Belgian and US paratroopers landed on fields near Sannerville on Wednesday, which was designated drop zone K on June 6 1944.

Read more: King Charles and Queen Camilla arrive at D-Day 80 memorial service as last surviving veterans receive standing ovation

Read more: Military piper pays tribute to fallen soldiers to mark beginning of 80th anniversary of D-Day landings

Among the 250 soldiers from the British Army's 16 Air Assault Brigade was Sergeant Danny Mawson, a keen historian who wore a smock worn by Colour Sergeant Tommy Alderson, who jumped on D-Day.

Also jumping was Lieutenant Max Phillips, whose great-great-uncle Major William Tighe-Woods landed on Sword Beach on D-Day.

The paratroopers launched themselves out of an Airbus A400M at 1pm yesterday, touching down in the fields near Sannerville.

The Royal British Legion Band of Wales, from Llanelli, played Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again as the drop began, with parachutists filling the air.

After landing, the men gathered up their parachutes and made their way to the border checkpoint set up in the corner of the field.

Brigadier Mark Berry, the paras commander, told The Sun: "It is something we haven't experienced before.

"But given the Royal welcome we have had from every other feature, it seems like a very small price to pay for coming to France."

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