Mar 18, 2012, 5:32 PM
Post #1 of 4
1961 Water Jump into Atlantic Ocean
It was Armed Forces Day in Atlantic City, NJ on May 21, 1961. The Lakehurst Skydiving Club participated in the event by dropping 7 of us out of a Navy R4D on several passes. The Coast Guard provided 3 boats to pick us out of the water. We all landed in the ocean between The Steel Pier and the Million Dollar Pier. (I doubt if those piers even exist now.)
None of us had ever made a water jump, and we didn't know anyone that had. We knew that we could breath under a wet canopy, but we were concerned about someone getting tangled in 28 lines if the canopy should come down directly on the jumper. We were more concerned about how to deal with sharks. No problem -- one of the members found out the Base had "a lot" of shark chaser in storage. Since we were officially representing the Navy at this event, we were allowed to carry some of that shark chaser on our person. Some time after that jump, we found out that the reason the Base had "a lot" of shark chaser in storage was because the Navy found out that that particular product had the opposite effect on sharks. The Navy was currently using a different product for their pilots. Oh well, more trial and ERROR jumps.
After we arrived on shore we were pretty proud of ourselves for all our preplanning, i.e. items needed in the water, boats to pick us out of the water, a de-boating area, dry clothes to change into back on the pier, and transportation back to the Base. Oh, there was one thing we forgot -- none of the guys that were going to drive us back to the Base were too keen on stuffing 7 main chutes, 7 reserves, 7 helmets, 7 jumpsuits, 7 pairs of boots, and 7 sets of underwear, all salt water soaked, into their cars.
Mar 19, 2012, 10:30 AM
Post #2 of 4
Re: [ripcordbk] 1961 Water Jump into Atlantic Ocean
[In reply to]
Did you know either Ted Taylor or Mac Mcgraw? Both jumped, I think, out of Navy Lakehurst in the early 60's. Did you happen to jump at the 1st MEPA Lakehurst event, would have been '63 I believe. Both Ted and Mac were at the MEPA event. I wondered what became of Ted.
Mar 19, 2012, 11:24 AM
Post #3 of 4
Re: [danchapman] 1961 Water Jump into Atlantic Ocean
[In reply to]
I don't remember Mcgraw, but I do remember Ted Taylor although at the time he signed log books as T.O. Taylor, CSO #411 - B616. We all called him T O.
I remember the first time he was jumpmaster out of a Navy SNB-5. He was on his hands and knees to the rear of the door. He stuck his head out the door to see where the exit point was. He quickly brought his head back into the plane, and all wild eyed said, "You can't breath out there!" One of the guys said, "Hold your breath and try it again." That worked.
No, I didn't get to jump at MEPA. My last jump at Lakehurst, #60, was on Oct. 7, 1961. The Navy had decomissioned my blimp squadron, and everyone was shipped out at that time.