Bryson William Verdun Hayes, known as Verdun, became the oldest person in the world to skydive. Hayes is apparently 101 years old from southwest England.
According to The Guardian, Hayes completed a tandem skydive along with three generations of his family at an airfield in Honiton, Devon in the United Kingdom.
After jumping 15,000 feet from a plane, he reportedly said “hooray” when he reached the ground and was completely “over the moon” about his accomplishment. Talk about crossing of an item on your bucket list!
The previous record-holder was 101 and 3 days old. But Hayes was 101 and 38 days when he jumped, beating the first brave soul.
He became the British record-holder for oldest skydiver when he jumped at 100, but now the great-grandfather holds the world title.
Hayes wanted to do something like this back when he was a younger man (90 years old), but his wife, who has since passed, wouldn’t let him.
When he jumped on Sunday, 10 members of his family were there, including his great-grandson Stanley, 16, his grandson Roger, 50, his son Bryan, 74, and his great-granddaughter Ellie, 21.
Verdun Hayes served in World War II, including on D-Day, and was named after a famous World War I battle.
Hayes was named Verdun after his father, Joseph Hayes, who also served in World War I and fought at the Battle of the Somme, wrote home to his pregnant wife at the frontline and suggested they name their son after the Battle of Verdun.
During World War II, Hayes served in the British army and was presented with a Légion d’honneur for his heroic actions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Normandy, France.
The former lance corporal in the Royal Signals was part of the D-Day campaign that ultimately saw Europe liberated from the Nazis.
Hayes sustained shrapnel injuries to his ribs and hands in an explosion while on duty. The explosion killed his friend, Sgt. Edgar Robertson and this has made an impact to Hayes.
Speaking with The Guardian, Hayes said,
“How I came home from World War II, I do not know. I was so near to the edge of everything. I lost any amount of friends in no time at all really. I just didn’t think I would ever return home.”
Source: The Guardian