Oct 9, 2012, 4:25 PM
Post #1 of 6
Many of the older Texas jumpers will remember Carlos Wallace. While Carlos had a few good qualities, his bad ones far outweighed the good. He almost got me, Ed Fitch and a couple of others in big-time trouble when we were flying to a meet in Las Vegas. We stopped for fuel somewhere along the way and there were a number of military aircraft parked along the flightline. Carlos stole a few chutes out of the planes and put them in the cargo hold of Ed's plane. We did not find out about it until we landed at Thunderbird Field in Vegas. On another occasion he went to Ft. Polk, LA to talk to the officer in charge of the parachute loft there. While there he filled his car with backpacks and reserves. I was at his home in Pasadena to pick up a modified harness and he was busy cutting the serial numbers out of the orange and white canopys and dyeing them. As I was leaving we heard over the radio that Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Finally things caught up with him. He was fleeing on his motorcycle after attempting to rob a restaurant and the owner shot him in the back and killed him. His funeral was attended by jumpers from as far away as California. Attached is an excellent photo I took of Carlos. I don't recall the name of the DZ but Bush Intercontinental Airport is on top of that DZ now. As I recall it was a 5-second delay and I was in the door with the camera. Russ Gunby wanted to use it in a later edition of his book, "Sport Parachuting", but for some reason it was not used. I believe he did use it in a copy of PCA's "Parachutist Magazine."
Cy Stapleton was a major force in early parachuting in general and for the Houston Parachute Club in particular. He and Ed Fitch did much to build foundations for enabling an infant PCA to unite regions to protect and advance sport parachuting. Hi Cy! Loooong time! Carlos Wallace's Waller Dz was just a few air miles from the Houston Intercontinental Airport under construction. Carlos liked excitement. He was wounded by the bar owner he'd tried to rob. His accomplice came over, shot the bar owner to death. Killed Carlos, and split. (He was trying to raise money to fight a previous murder charge) :-)
There is an old story, and I think, somewhere, some film, of Carlos body blocking Skippy Menino(sp?) as he plummeted towards the ground under a total streamer and malfunctioned reserve and breaking Skippy's fall before he (Skippy) hit the ground. Skippy supposedly lived. I had heard this story many times back in the 60's but had no proof to substantiate it. Good story though.
Carlos liked excitement. He was wounded by the bar owner he'd tried to rob. His accomplice came over, shot the bar owner to death. Killed Carlos, and split. (He was trying to raise money to fight a previous murder charge) :-)
Pat...Thanks for the heads up. Either my memory is fading or I never knew the facts. I thought the bar owner killed Carlos. I probably could guess the name of the accomplice, but can't come up with his name. Tall jumper from the Dallas area? If that's the person, he was the worst scumbag I've ever met. I'm a civil man and a Christian, but I made an offer to our club that if he ever creamed in the steaks were on me. He always carried a .45 cal automatic and never hesitated to pull it on anyone for almost anything.