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101-year-old British WWII veteran of D-Day breaks skydiving record

In this stillframe taken from video, Verdun Hayes (in yellow) gestures during his tandem skydiving jump in Devon, England on Sunday. The 101-year-old D-Day veteran broke the world record for the oldest tandem skydiver. Hayes, a great-grandfather, jumped out of a plane from 15,000 feet on Sunday accompanied by four generations of his family. | From Skydive.buzz video, distributed by the Associated Press

LONDON — A 101-year-old D-Day veteran has become the oldest person in the world to skydive.

Bryson William Verdun Hayes completed a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet with members of his extended family on Sunday at an airfield in Honiton, southwestern England.

Among those jumping were Hayes’ son, grandson, great-grandson and great-granddaughter.

At the age of 101 years, 38 days, Hayes broke the Guinness World Record held by Canada’s Armand Gendreau, who jumped in 2013 at 101 years, three days.

When he landed, Hayes said he was “absolutely over the moon” at the achievement. The jump raised money for the Royal British Legion, a veterans’ organization.

Hayes said he had wanted to try skydiving when he was 90, but was talked out it at the time by his late wife. He jumped for the first time last year at 100.

Hayes served in the British Army during World War II, and was awarded France’s Legion of Honor for his heroic actions.

Bryson William Verdun Hayes (center), a 101-year-old veteran of the D-Day invasion, prepares for his tandem skydive on Sunday in Devon, England. | Still frame from video, distributed by the Associated Press