WWII vet celebrating 100th birthday with mass parachute drop in Xenia

Local News

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) — Jim “Pee Wee” Martin will celebrate his 100th birthday at Skydive Greene County, where W&R Vets is hosting “Pee Wee’s Jump Fest” in honor of the WWII paratroopers service.

Friday, Martin and organizers gathered in anticipation of Saturday’s main event. The event will feature the recently restored C-47 “That’s, All Brother” and C-53 “D-Day Doll,” both owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). Both aircraft will fly over with a mass parachute drop to honor Martin, who jumped on D-Day as part of the 101st Airborne Division.

Along with WWII demonstration teams, the U.S. Army 101st, 82nd Airborne Divisions and Golden Knights are expected to participate.  

Martin was a member of the “Screaming Eagle” division, who were among the first Allied soldiers to set foot in occupied France. Martin was dubbed “Pee Wee” in training for his small stature. He served with G Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 101st Airborne Division. In addition to parachuting into Normandy, Martin also participated in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge.   

Organizers said that Martin’s 100th Birthday Jump Fest will serve as a tribute to all members of the Screaming Eagles for. He won’t be alone either, joining him are the remaining Screaming Eagles, 97-year-old Bob Izumi, 99-year-old Tom Rice, 97-year-old Dan McBride, 98-year-old Dick Klein and 96-year-old Vincent J. Speranza.

For more information about the event, click here.

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