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lisamariewillbe

I met a old timer...

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Last night at the Church festival I had a skydiving tee-shirt on. I was approached by an older gentleman and come to find out he had 18 jumps in WW11. We talked alot and his stories were amazing to me. I sat in awe of the conditions he jumped in. Through it all we talked a bit about modern skydiving as a sport and he seemed a bit apprenhensive on the ideas of square parachutes, and jumping for fun, but he seemed to really "need" to talk about the jumps he does have and was curious about mine.

My question is, that I want to do something for him to help close that gap between jumping in the war, to modern skydiving but not sure what would be a good idea. I invited him out to the dropzone, even if to just watch and tell some of his stories but hope that hed take a tandem.

I know to alot of people 18 jumps isnt alot, but the stories I heard last night were amazing and I want to do something for him. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Sudsy Fist: i don't think i'd ever say this
Sudsy Fist: but you're looking damn sudsydoable in this

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Last night at the Church festival I had a skydiving tee-shirt on. I was approached by an older gentleman and come to find out he had 18 jumps in WW11. We talked alot and his stories were amazing to me. I sat in awe of the conditions he jumped in. Through it all we talked a bit about modern skydiving as a sport and he seemed a bit apprenhensive on the ideas of square parachutes, and jumping for fun, but he seemed to really "need" to talk about the jumps he does have and was curious about mine.

My question is, that I want to do something for him to help close that gap between jumping in the war, to modern skydiving but not sure what would be a good idea. I invited him out to the dropzone, even if to just watch and tell some of his stories but hope that hed take a tandem.

I know to alot of people 18 jumps isnt alot, but the stories I heard last night were amazing and I want to do something for him. Any ideas would be appreciated.



18 jumps durring WWII is a lot!
"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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Bring him at the DZ, I know for sure that at my DZ, if someone like that came, everyone would chip in and he'd get a tandem for free, and 8 people flying with him with several cameras... And then he'd have to talk avout his jumps and drink beers/wine/whatever with us...
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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18 jumps durring WWII is a lot!



That could be total, I dont know how many they had to do to train before they went out. I just know he had to leave static line really close to the ground and in areas that were not suited to well to land in. The only part really in his training we talked about was his PLF training. Something about knees, ass and head, cant remember his "quote" about it but it made me laugh cause he said it at a church function. He had one mal called a mae west that he had to land and thats when he got broken up and out of the war or got out of jumping, maybe both.
Sudsy Fist: i don't think i'd ever say this
Sudsy Fist: but you're looking damn sudsydoable in this

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I think your plan so far is good. If he is interested, a day at the drop zone should do him some good. There should be no problem with him doing a tandem, if he wants & he is in reasonable shape. To be sure, the thought of jumping a square to an old "round" jumper can be frightening. Bet he has some good stories himself.

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To be sure, the thought of jumping a square to an old "round" jumper can be frightening. Bet he has some good stories himself.



Yes, it was an incredible conversation. Ive met alot of people who have jumped for a long time but its not often I have sat one on one and just listened for such a long time. Usually dont get that chance.

What Im kinda thinking as a pre- bring him to the dz is a dvd of sorts, one that brings the two parts together. Rounds in wartime, to skydiving for fun. Something that also speaks about the dynamics of ram air physics and such. At the very least something that will connect him to skydiving again. I could see it in him that he wants a connection.
Sudsy Fist: i don't think i'd ever say this
Sudsy Fist: but you're looking damn sudsydoable in this

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I am not an "old timer" but I can help.
It will require a personal visit and a few "training aides";)

As to the original idea.

Bring him out to the DZ show him some of the history from rounds to squares. You may even find a few who jumped in the military after he did and can have an impromtue history lesson. It will show some of the younger jumpers where alot of this skydiving stuff came from and the history of parachuting in general.
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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He'd probably enjoy going up as an observer. He'd most likely have fun putting a rig on again and watch everyone in freefall.

I knew an old timer who jumped into Normandy during W.W.II. He became kind of a hermit, and many people said he was shell shock. When they made the movie the "Longest Day" they wrote him a letter asking what it was really like. You could tell he had a lot of pride in being a paratrooper in that war.

At any rate, he lived as a recluse in the Mountains of Montana. When we were kids we would stay with him in his cabin, and he showed us a thing or two about hunting and trapping.

I'd love to look this old guy up again (if he is still alive), and take him out to the D.Z. I'd bet he'd really enjoy it....Steve1

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First, I think it is great that you want to do something for him. Do not just think about it; do it.



Oh I will definitly, I just want it to be something special for him and something to bridge the gap.

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Second, are you saying that you do not know what a mae west is?



Shit, I should definitly stop post whoring and look that up ... :| I heard it was a line over but Im thinking a line over in a round would clear itself, then again I barely have over 100 jumps and so I know nothing about rounds.

Were their rigs packed with a closing pin as ours are now? Straight or curved? I just called and invited him to the dz this weekend to watch versus the general invite last night, will see if he accepts.

Part of the desire comes from my gramps never talking about his experience in the war (he was a pilot, he has one skydive) so I for sure am going to gain much more from meeting him then he from meeting me but I will do what I can to get him at least one more jump. :)
Sudsy Fist: i don't think i'd ever say this
Sudsy Fist: but you're looking damn sudsydoable in this

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OK, a little edjimacation.
A Mae West was, in fact, a lineover. They didn't automatically clear themselves. On cheapos (military surplus) they didn't necessarily cause dangerous rates of descent, but they might. They could also cause long burns and tears in the canopy from line friction. So you tried to clear them by popping a riser, or cut away and deployed your reserve, or just deployed your non-pilot-chuted reserve, depending on the equipment and training.

As far as closing the rigs is concerned, military mains for combat jumps were static-lined; a line attached to the airplane would open the container (many means, including a bight of the static line passed through a loop) and then drag the canopy out. We used to tie them off with 5-cord before velcro came into fashion.

Reserves and freefall rigs were closed with pins and cones. Metal cones would have grommets nestled onto them, and metal pins went through the tops of the cones to hold the container shut. Because the cone was, well, cone-shaped, the flaps would come apart reasonably easily when you pulled the pins. But bent pins were a really bad thing (not straight = not open sometimes).

Rigs generally had either 2 (chest-mounted) or 4 (back-mounted) cones and pins.

Things got more creative once folks started using military surplus gear for fun jumping.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Thanks for that... Line over = mae west, filed in the memory bank.

Thanks everyone who responded and sent PMs. This is a fun chapter in my skydiving book that I cant wait to see unfold. Now to just get him to the DZ :)
Sudsy Fist: i don't think i'd ever say this
Sudsy Fist: but you're looking damn sudsydoable in this

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And wouldn't you like to undertake a little more edjimacation by explaining exactly how the Mae West got its name?

Why -- from its resemblance to a life preserver, of course :)

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I just sent an article to Skydiving magazine about a gentleman I met who did several jumps during the war. In fact, after jumping into Arnhem, he went back to Europe to jump at the 50th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the battle!

Take a look at the trees in the attached photo. It gives you some idea of the height they were exiting at.
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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In the early '70s, a guy shows up on my DZ and wants to jump. He said he had a few static line jumps and a single freefall at another DZ and wanted to get back into the sport. I looked at his log book. Turns out, I knew his instructor and all the comments looked good. I told him to get on his jumpsuit and we'd check out a few things.

When he got his jumpsuit on, I saw that he had military wings sewn on in the usual place on the left chest. When I looked more closely, I realized the wings had four stars--which meant four combat jumps.

I asked where he could possibly have gotten four combat jumps. He said he had been with the 82nd Airborne and made three in Europe and one in North Africa. He said only a few guys had that many. He jumped into Sicily as well as into France on D-Day.

Talk about being in awe!

Here was a guy with four combat jumps with the 82nd. I thought I was a big deal having served with the 82nd during, but not in, 'Nam. He didn't like to talk about the fighting but he was more than happy to talk about what it was like to jump into combat four times...and live through it..as well as all the places he got drunk and into bar fights. WW II combat jumpers are a *very* different breed.

He became one of my best friends and I taught two of his sons to jump.

He died about 12 years ago of a heart attack. Rest in peace, Walt Santman!

Some of you East Coast jumpers may have known his sons Eric and Tony who jumped with the Herd at United in the 70s and 80s.
Guru312

I am not DB Cooper

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Your friend must have been in the 505th RCT. I went to their reunion in San Antonio this Sept. I met so many guys with 4 combat jumps I lost count. There was even a veteran there with 5 combat jumps. He had make 4 with the 505th in WWII and 1 with the 187th in Korea! Those guys are great and if you show interest the will tell you great jump and combat stories.

Besides skydiving I jump with the WWII Airborne Demonstration team. We jump from C47's with WWII uniforms and equipment to honor the veterans. We use MC1-1C's and -1B's. We have a few T-7's that some of the skinny guys on the team jump.

If you know any WWII paratroopers please tell them to contact us. We have a lot of WWII vets as legacy members of the team and they have a great time with us.
www.wwiiadt.com

Thanks,
Cael

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It would be great if you could share the "SkysCall" books with him, I, II, and III take you from military rounds thru PC and on into square canopies with lots of real cool shots of planes, ground and skydives.

I am not sure if you could find a set near by, but that would be real cool way to share with someone like him how the sport has progressed.

Stay Safe,

Arvel
BSBD...........Its all about Respect,

USPA#-7062, FB-2197, Outlaw 499

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The only part really in his training we talked about was his PLF training. Something about knees, ass and head, cant remember his "quote" about it but it made me laugh cause he said it at a church function.
--------------------------------------------------------
From my Airborne Daze, it was "Balls of feet, calf, thigh, buttucks & pushup muscle." Pushup muscle was your shoulderblades. Try a pushup and you can feel it immediately! ;)

I wish I could meet him, too. During my 'daze' in the 82nd at the parachute club, we actually had a bar where the 'barflies' used to hang out. All of them were retired Airborne guys with jumps in WWII, Korea or Vietnam.

Good luck getting him out to the DZ! ;) A few beers should give you an evening of war stories.
____________________________________
I'm back in the USA!!

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I am very much a newbie here, but on our DZ in the Netherlands we had the opportunity to jump from a 1944 DC3 (Fifi Kate, N47FK).

Because the runway at the DZ is not long enough, we took off from a nearby military base, and flew a long climb to arrive over the DZ at about 10000 ft. This long climb gave us a good view of the area where these heroes jumped all those years ago to save our little country. I spent most of the time gazing out of the hole where the door was supposed to be and thinking what it must be like at night, round parachutes, lots of equipment, low altitude and people trying their best to kill you before you land...

Your photograph reminds me very much of those jumps. On one of the two jumps I made from Fifi Kate we had an actual veteran accompanying us as an observer.

Ramon

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Last night at the Church festival I had a skydiving tee-shirt on. I was approached by an older gentleman and come to find out he had 18 jumps in WW11. We talked alot and his stories were amazing to me. I sat in awe of the conditions he jumped in. Through it all we talked a bit about modern skydiving as a sport and he seemed a bit apprenhensive on the ideas of square parachutes, and jumping for fun, but he seemed to really "need" to talk about the jumps he does have and was curious about mine.

My question is, that I want to do something for him to help close that gap between jumping in the war, to modern skydiving but not sure what would be a good idea. I invited him out to the dropzone, even if to just watch and tell some of his stories but hope that hed take a tandem.

I know to alot of people 18 jumps isnt alot, but the stories I heard last night were amazing and I want to do something for him. Any ideas would be appreciated.



One jump with people trying to shoot you out of the sky is ALOT!:|

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