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  1. Thanks! I enjoyed recalling those memories, and sharing them. I have tried several different ways to contact some of the guys that jumped out of that blimp, but to no avail.
  2. I enjoyed watching the video. It brought back lots of memories from the early 60's in the States. A lot of what we did then was "Trial and ERROR."
  3. Thanks for posting it. I enjoyed it. That TU was a hot modification in those early days of sport jumping.
  4. Around the mid 60's I was on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Skydiving Club. Someone from a small town called me to request 3 skydivers exit over their Labor Day event. On that Labor Day, I sent one of our members to that town to lay out an "X" so we could identify the landing area. That part worked well. From the air we could easily see the "X." The major problem was we couldn't see any people on the ground waiting for us to jump. Well, what the heck, we knew where we were, and we were in an airplane with no way to contact anyone (cell phones had not been invented yet), so we jumped into the empty field. It turned out the town celebrated their Labor Day event on Sunday, so everyone in town could spend the actual holiday at home with their families. We couldn't decide if we were a day late or 364 days early for next year's event (which never came to happened). I do remember a lot of finger pointing on both sides. That part was too bad.
  5. I found this site by accident, and I am glad I did because I am enjoying the various threads. My first jump was at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in 1960. I made 60 jumps into that sand pit that was surrounded by trees. My 31st jump was out of one of those blimps, June 28, 1961. In those days we tried various modifications to the old type parachutes. Some worked well while some -- not so well. I started 6 threads under the Skydiving History & Trivia section: 1960 Trials & ERRORS 1961 Blimp Jump 1961 Blimp Jumper's Names
  6. The other key in the story was he would be 25 when he graduated. If memory serves me correctly, they couldn't draft you when you were 25. I know the story to be true because I was there when it happened.
  7. You know how some days you can be on the ground, and hear the sound of skydivers falling through the air? Well, the next time your kids are at the DZ, and the wind is right, tell them to listen carefully when you exit the plane at 12,500. A couple of seconds after you exit the plane, yell something to them like, HI TOM or JEANNIE LOOK AT TOM, or whatever. When you land, they should be able to tell you what you yelled to them from 2 miles up. My grown kids still remember some of the things I yelled to them.
  8. 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.
  9. Wow! That jumpmaster without wearing a chute brings to memory some of the scary stories I used to hear from former paratroopers that I used to jump with. They claimed that on occasion, when they exiting the aircraft with full battle gear, someone would grab the jumpmaster on their way out the door, and all of a sudden he was unexpectedly airborne. The other story I remember was: One of two guys would put a small amount of split pea soup in a barf bag, then roll it up, and take it on the plane. On the way up to jump altitude, this guy would fake being air sick. Eventually he would grab the bag, and fake throwing up in it. When he pulled the bag away from his face he had split pea soup around his lips - except no one though it was soup. The other guy, that was in on the joke, would take the bag out of his hand, and pretend to drink the contents. This would cause the guy next to him to actually throw up, which would cause the guy next to him to throw up, which would cause.... It wasn't long before most of the guys on the flight had thrown up. I felt sorry for the ground crew when that plane landed.
  10. The lottery came well after I was discharged from the Navy, but I do have a story that may be of interest. I have a relative that was 24 years old, married, a senior in college, with good grades when the Draft Board in Illinois called him in again. The Draft Board informed him that they had received a letter from his wife, stating that he and his wife were in the process of a divorce. The Draft Board yanked him out of college, and sent him to Nam.
  11. That was my 23rd jump. Yes, the guy did jump again. After a night of 10 cent beers, we were all laughing about it. In fact, for quite some time, when we would see him walking towards us, we would stop, bend forward at the waist, and move our arms in big circles. We didn't say a word, we didn't have to, he even laughed. You asked if there was any video? WHAT??? At a salary of $86 per month, high tech. for me was my Kodak Brownie Camera, that I owned before I went into the Navy.
  12. On May 13, 1961, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ, was celebrating it own Armed Forces Day. We were scheduled to jump out of a HRS helicopter. Again, none of us had ever jumped out of a helicopter of any kind. Before the jump we looked over the HRS to try an figure out the best way to exit the aircraft. We couldn't sit in the doorway and tumble out because we would hit the wheel. The wheel was too far out of reach to climb out on. The door was too short for a standing exit. So, we decided we needed to crouch down and dive out over the wheel. Okay, everyone agreed! The first guy to go out didn't crouch down enough. As he dove out the door, his backpack got caught on the top of the doorway. The heels of his boots were caught on the edge of the bottom of the doorway. His body was hanging out side the aircraft. His arms were waving all over the place trying to grab anything, but to no avail. We couldn't push his feet out the door because he would have dropped down and hit the wheel. Two of us grabbed his backpack, and tried pulling him back into the helicopter. That was not an easy task. And, he banged his helmet on the outside of the helicopter because he was not crouched down low enough - again. When we got him inside, he was wild eyed, and said he wasn't going through that again. The jumpmaster told him he had two choices, 1) exit the aircraft on his own, and we would make sure he was crouched low enough this time, or 2) exit the aircraft with the jumpmaster's boot in his butt. He took option 1). The rest of us made darn sure we crouched low enough.
  13. 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.
  14. As promised in a previous thread, here are the names of the 10 skydivers that jumped out of a blimp on June 28, 1961, at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in NJ. These are presented in the order that appeared in the newspaper that covered the event, not in the order we exited the airship. Anybody know where any of these guys are today? 1. 1st Lt. E. E. Bajer, Fort Dix 2. F. R. Ehrlich, SN, NATTU 3. D. R. Cox, SN, NATTU 4. Bob Kellen, SN, ZW-1 5. Lt. Cdr. Tom Pugh, ZW-1 6. 1st. Lt. R. H. Goetz, Fort Dix 7. Chuck Clifford, ADE3, ZW-1 8. Don Shoop, AEC, ZW-1 9. Chuck Seymour, PR1, NATTU 10. Ed Kruse, PR1, NATTU Two years ago, I heard that Don Shoop was building and flying planes somewhere in Minn. In 1962, Chuck Clifford and D. R. Cox were jumping with the Navy Shooting Stars Parachute Team, but I lost touch after that.