101st ABN D-Day vet to once again jump on his 100th B-day

| August 9, 2021

Tom Rice

At age 100 this guy’s got more guts and physical prowess than I do at less than half his age. Coronado Times reports on the magnificent life and coming adventures of Mr. Rice.

On his 100th birthday, WWII paratrooper Tom Rice will jump in his hometown of Coronado on the beach front of the historic Hotel del Coronado.

The Commemorative Air Force’s C-53 D-Day Doll will drop Rice for his centennial celebration. [The C-53 Skytrooper is a C-47 Skytrain (itself developed from the venerable DC-3) variant specialized for paratrooper use, only 380 were made as the more versatile C-47 was found more useful.] D-Day Doll flew missions on D-Day and has been restored and preserved to represent her role in the Allied invasion of Normandy. D-Day Doll crossed the Atlantic to participate in the 75th Anniversary of D-Day ceremonies that involved Tom Rice.

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Teams with “Beyond the Teams” (BTT) will be providing Drop Zone Security Detail. BTT is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting worthy causes and events. This monumental event is presented by Operation Call-To-Service and will be hosted by the Hotel del Coronado. The event will take place on Sunday, August 15, 2021 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Hotel del Coronado Beach Front, 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado; estimated jump time is 11 am. The event is sponsored by Seaborn Cocktails, Metarom Flavors, Coronado Cross-fit, Navy SEAL Xperience San Diego, and Praesidus watchmakers, the creators of Tom Rice’s “The Lost Watch of D-Day.”

At 22 years of age, Tom Rice volunteered to join the new and untested combat branch of the American Army and what he calls “The Airborne Experiment.” After rigorous and almost impossible training, Rice became a member of the most exclusive and demanding regiments of that time, the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 101st Airborne Division, C Company, commanded by the legendary Colonel Howard “Jumpy” Johnson. Rice parachuted in Normandy on D-Day and Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. He served in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium and captured Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany. After the war, Tom resumed his studies and later became a teacher. He taught high school and junior college social studies and history for over 44 years.

This isn’t even the first late-in-life jump the old Screaming Eagle has done!

On June 5, 2019, at the age of 97, Tom Rice parachuted once again from a C-47 over Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which is known as the largest historical re-enactment event of our lifetime and is documented in the film Libertas.

When Tom was asked what it was like to jump 75 years later, he responded, “My hope is the next generations will always remember the men who came and fought for them, many sacrificing their lives to liberate the world. May we never forget them.” Tom is dedicating his 100th birthday jump to the 101st Airborne Division and “The 4 Colonels of Carentan” in support of a monument being built in Normandy as a tribute to those who liberated Europe.

Come join us to wish Tom a happy 100th birthday and congratulate him on his epic jump! WWII Honor Flight San Diego veterans and WWII “Screaming Eagle” Dan McBride (97), will be in attendance to celebrate.

Viewing the jump is free and open to the public. All attendees must comply with current California mandated COVID protocols.

To learn more about the event, visit: www.OperationCall-To-Service.com

Category: Army, F*** Yeah!, Real Soldiers, Veterans in the news

Comments (25)

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  1. Sgt K says:

    Fuckin’ A!

  2. TopGoz says:

    F’kin’ A!

  3. Green Thumb says:

    Hell Yeah!

  4. Jay says:

    OutFuckingSTANDING. This is a MAN. Godspeed Mr. Rice, here’s hoping we can read about your yearly jumps for many years to come.

  5. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neanderthal B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist SuperStraight says:

    DAYYYYYYYAM!
    Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!

  6. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neanderthal B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist SuperStraight says:

    TEACH history? Hell, all he has to do is stand in front of the classroom and tell ’em his life experiences. “There I was…….”

    • Mason says:

      Taught for 44 years. Let’s do the math. If he was mustered out in late-1945 like most of the D-Day troops (should have had more than enough points) then he probably started college somewhere near 1946. Graduated, teaching certificate somewhere around 1949-1951. That means he was still teaching in the late 80s or early 90s. By then, WWII was grandpa’s war. I wonder how many of his later students had any idea of the badass they had standing in front of them.

  7. Sapper3307 says:

    AIRBONE!
    Young man.

  8. Hatchet says:

    Bravo Zulu Mr. Rice! Fair winds and Happy landings to you

  9. KoB says:

    Hell I can’t hardly do a vertical envelopment from my pickup truck bed. And I’m 30 years younger than this Warrior!

    Soft landings Good Sir. You have our utmost respect!

  10. Messkit says:

    I’m more impressed that could teach for 44 years, while dragging those massive brass balls around the campus.

  11. USAFRetired says:

    “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.” George S Patton

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    Damn! And I hope he gets another jump in on his 101st b’day.

  13. MI Ranger says:

    Awesome. I jumped in to Market Garden for the 51st anniversary with a few of the veterans. Incredible that they are still around, certainly tougher than me, I can’t jump anymore if I want to be able to still walk and I’m only half their age.

  14. Sparks says:

    Happy Birthday to a true hero and patriot! I hope you are blessed with many more years, Mr. Rice.

    God bless and Godspeed for your jump.

  15. timactual says:

    I looked into doing a parachute jump due to the evil influence of a friend of mine who was an instructor; “It’s fun!” says he. Turns out I am too “big” for a personnel chute and too small (slightly) for a cargo chute. Ah, well, another fantasy shattered by cruel reality.

    I suppose I could lose some weight…..Nah.

  16. Steve says:

    Incredible. What a legend.

  17. Graybeard says:

    A Hero worth emulating.

    I hope I’m in as good a shape at 100 as he is. (Although I’m still not jumping.)

  18. Poetrooper says:

    Ol’ Poe renders a solemn salute to Trooper Rice for his devotion to his Screaming Eagle heritage. It was young WWII warriors like him who inspired a younger generation of paratroopers like me in our own war a couple of decades later.

    Poe had planned a commemorative birthday jump a few years back, a tandem freefall from 12,000 feet, something he’d never done and thought would be an appropriate last jump, but the fucking cancer intervened. If he ever beats the cancer, he may still make that final jump.

    Airborne, Trooper Rice! All the way…Airborne!

  19. Joe S says:

    They should drop him from a C-5 instead since that’s the only aircraft that could airlift balls that large!