McPherson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Christopher Somers recently graduated from the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team’s Jump School at the Frederick Army Air Field in Frederick, Oklahoma on July 23 after successfully completing eight days of intensive training.

After five days of training and evaluation, Somers was passed on to the parachuting phase. On the sixth day, he boarded a WWII C-47 Dakota aircraft that flew in the counter invasion of Normandy in 1944.

Somers was pinned with the WWII ADT gold-colored jump wings by World War II Veteran Paratrooper Richard Adams. Somers received the legendary blood wings with 13 other students.

The school is made up of an intensive training program, followed by a series of tests that ensure the students have been able to grasp the techniques and procedures that will enable them to make a successful low altitude, military-style, static line jump. Training is arduous and physically demanding. It also requires a level of coordination and understanding while under pressure.

The Parachute Landing Fall, canopy control, and emergency procedures while under canopy are key features that require a great deal of focus. Once the tests have been passed, each student is then able to make World War II-style jumps from the team’s C-47 aircraft that participated in the invasion of Europe.

The WWII Airborne Demonstration Team Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3), formed to honor and serve the memory of the men and women who fought and died to preserve America’s freedom during World War II. The activities of the foundation recognize and honor all those who served and survived all wars.

Visit their website at www.wwiiadt.org.