Skydiving Second World War veteran dies at age of 97

Sandy Cortmann famoulsy tandem dropped with the Red Devils on to Ginkel Heath, near Arnhem, in September.

A war veteran, who completed a parachute jump as part of the 75th Battle of Arnhem commemorations, has died at the age of 97.

Sandy Cortmann tandem dropped with the Red Devils on to Ginkel Heath, near Arnhem in the Netherlands, in September as part of a tribute to his fallen comrades.

The man from Aberdeen, who fought in the Second World War, died at his care home in the city on Saturday.

Mr Cortmann was just 22 years old when when he first parachuted on to Ginkel Health in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden, one of the war’s most significant and ill-fated operations.

STV News speaking to Sandy Cortmann in November

A crowd of thousands, which included Prince Charles, applauded the former paratrooper as he made a return to the country he was captured in 75 years ago.

Letters of support for Mr Cortmann would later pour into his care home, with many Dutch people moved by his incredible story.

Mr Cortmann told STV News in November he felt “overwhelmed” by the letters and the praise.

He said: “There’s a lot of guys that aren’t here that should have been here for this – [they’re] always in my mind.”

Market Garden Veterans Association shared a tribute to the “internationally known” veteran on social media.

A statement said: “Market Garden veteran Alexander ‘Sandy’ Cortmann died on Saturday night at the age of 97 in his hometown of Aberdeen.

“He became internationally known when he attended the commemorations for the first time in 75 years in September 2019. Until then, he was unknown as a war veteran.

“As a 22-year-old, Sandy volunteered for a secret mission in 1944. It turned out to be Operation Market Garden.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code