The Texas based Liberty Jump Team had scheduled to make two commemorative parachute jumps in World War Two US Army Airborne combat equipment in the area around Bastogne in 2007. This Belgian town was encircled by attacking German forces in December 1944 and January 1945. The 101st US Army Airborne Division held the town until elements of General Patton's tank army threw back Hitler's last offensive. December 16th, 1944 was the start date -the D-Day- of the German Ardennes Offensive. Therefore, the weekend of Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of December 2007 saw many commemorative events. Among those were the two jumps of the Liberty Jump Team.

The Sunday drop eventually was cancelled due to strong winds and a solid frozen Drop Zone. 

However, Battle Detectives Tom and Ivo were among four passengers allowed on board the WWII vintage C-47 "Drag 'Em Oot", during the Saturday flight to the drop zone near Rollé Castle and the dropping of the jumpers.

Tom's good friend Mark Durivage from Ohio made this possible. Mark is a jumper with the Liberty Jump Team:


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Also on board were Don, who heads the Para Research Team and WWII veteran Bob Izumi of "G"-Co./506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

This is a pictorial impression of the event. Most of the photographs were made by Don. He has created an excellent report of the event on his website. Visitors are encouraged to take a look at his special report here.

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(Click on these images for a larger photograph)

How historically accurate the Liberty Jump Team members, the C-47 "Drag 'Em Oot" and the preparation were, is proven by these Now & Then comparisons of pictures of the 2007 drop and photographs taken during various World War Two US Airborne operations.


(Click on the images to enlarge)


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