Dutch courage helps Parker in flying visit for Essex charity

Brentwood Gazette Series assistant editor Keith Parker parachuted into Arnhem at the weekend to mark the 60th anniversary of the Allied landings and to raise money for charity.

Thousands of Dutch people watched as he joined veterans in commemorating the start of the battle immortalised in the film A Bridge Too Far.

Parker leaped from a vintage Douglas Dakota, the type of aircraft used in the landings, codenamed Operation Market Garden, in 1944.

In doing so he raised several hundreds of pounds in sponsorship for Essex Air Ambulance.

Parker said: “Parachuting from a Dakota, the same aircraft used by my father’s generation, was an honour. ” Parker, who had to apply for medical clearance for his jump because he is over 50, said: “I had no trouble convincing the doctor that I’m fit to drop.”

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