Frederick, Okla. (KFDX/KJTL) — At Frederick Army Airfield, a non-profit sets out to remember, honor and serve World War II veterans in a special way.
The World War II Airborne Demonstration team offers a parachute school that takes you right back to paratrooper training for the war and attracts people from across the country.
At 99-years old, World War II veteran David Hamilton isn’t new to this whole process.
“Oh yeah, I’ve been here before,” Hamilton said.
As the last living World War II pathfinder pilot, he looks forward to these weeks no matter what.
“It’s been great, it’s been absolutely marvelous,” Hamilton said.
The World War II Airborne Demonstration team’s parachute school spends a full week immersing people in World War II paratrooper training.
From where they eat, To packing their own parachutes and gearing up, even to the aircrafts they jump out of, two actual C-47’s.
“I think most of us feel a combination of exhilaration, stress, a sense of pride of course because we train to be expert jumpers,” jumper Andrew Kristopik said. “It’s an experience where you own everything going on.”
Giving new jumpers an unmatched experience, even for experts like Kristopik, who travels in from New York that feeling never goes away.
“Operational tempo goes up, so does our situational awareness, I mean we start getting into a certain, a certain zone,” Kristopik said.
A zone that Hamilton knows so well.
“Spent my 22nd birthday down in Rome before the invasion of the south of France,” Hamilton said.
As he spent his 99th birthday in a plane he flew countless times, as crowds gather around to hear his firsthand experiences.
“Then we were sent out to lead a group, it put over 200 holes in my airplane, and never hit a cable or person in my airplane, it had looked like it had the measles,” Hamilton said.
And that’s exactly what the World War II Airborne Demonstration team sets out to do.
“There’s just a connection every time we come back here, this is really our training site, our mission: To remember honor and serve our World War II veterans,” Kristopik said.
Doing so, in the most immersive way possible.
Although the parachute school is all filled for all session for the next two years, but for more information on the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team, or how you can help, just click here!