WWII vet honored at skydiving celebration

WWII vet honored at skydiving celebration

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - Eyes will be to the sky as the sixth annual skydiving celebration gets underway in Fitzgerald this weekend.

Everyone involved is hoping to get up in the air and jump.

"We've got twin otter here; we've got another one that will be down here as soon as things open up. Got a jet ranger helicopter coming in to fly jumpers also and a hot air balloon," said event coordinator Chris Spence.

But this year's event is a little more special as organizers honor the memory of one of the pioneers of skydiving, Davis Sims.

"He started this drop zone in 1959. It was the first drop zone in the state of Georgia," said friend Wes Walker.

Sims started skydiving while in the military during World War II.

He even lost his dog tags while fighting, only to be recovered by an Australian police officer in 2003 who was determined to return them to him or his family. It just took her 11 years to find the right American.

"Within a few short weeks they have a lead on the first dog tag which was Davis's dog tag. It was just important to come full circle and return it," said Jade Hood, a former Australian National Police Officer.

Now, everyone is connected and they began thinking of ways to remember Sims.

"His friends wanted to have this road named in honor of him. It took both the city and the county passing resolutions to do that and we have a sign that we made up that we're actually going to unveil it," said Ben Hill County Administrator Frank Field.

Organizers said it's a great way to remember a man who is sorely missed.

"So it's a way to honor and also keep the legacy going of skydiving," said Walker.

The new sign designating a road as David Sims Way will be unveiled Friday evening at 6 p.m.

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