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ArvinAlP64 last won the day on February 19 2019

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  • Home DZ
    Arvin, California
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  1. Hi, Maybe Mr. Dishroon was in the 507th PIR. This is a film about their jump on D Day, their fight at the Battle of the Bulge and their jump at Operation Varsity. d-day Down to Earth – Return of the 507th A unit of the 507th is training parachutists at Fort Benning now. Thank You, Mr. Dishroon. Al Paradowski, SCR 002
  2. Hi Tim, We lost a very important big-way relative work pioneer on August 23, 2016. Jim Dann was originally from Texas. He joined the Marines at age fifteen and served on a Navy ship. He moved to Burbank, California and worked in an aircraft overhaul facility where he met Bob Buquor. Jim was one of Bob's few skydiving students. I met Jim at Burbank Airport on October 17, 1964. A mutual friend had organized a 10,000 foot Saturday morning one-way adventure headed north in a C172 with the door on. We jumped into a little DZ just past the Grapevine outside a small agricultural town named Arvin. I had twenty-two jumps. Jim and I both lived in Burbank and began sharing expenses driving up to Arvin on the weekends. We'd also attend Brian Williams's Music Appreciation, Wine Sipping and Parachute Packing Society meetings on Tuesday nights. We would wind up moving into the guest house of his mom's new place in Burbank. Listed below are some of Jim's early accomplishments: First seven-man star: Arvin, CA. Early 1965. Bill Newell and I witnessed it from the packing tables. First eight-man star: Arvin, CA. October 17, 1965. First ten-man hook-up: Arvin, CA. February, 1966. First ten-man baton pass: Arvin, CA. May 15, 1966. First nine-man star: Arvin, CA. May 29, 1966. The last weekend of the Arvin DZ. Stunt jumps for, "Don't Make Waves," the Tony Curtis, Sharon Tate movie filmed by Bob Buguor. Bob drowned on one of the camera jumps on July 27, 1966 off Malibu Pier, CA. First ten-man star: Taft, CA. July 2, 1967. Yearly big-way demo jumps into The Stock Plane Air Races at Shafter, CA Original member of The Arvin Good Guys speed ten-way team. Please feel free to make additions and/or corrections as needed. Fly Free Jim Al Paradowski SCR 002
  3. Hi Don, My first jump instructor signed my logbook: "Ed Duncan, C201, D53" at Elsinore, CA on June 23, 1963. The list of D license holders shown in this thread has two "Edmond C. Duncan"s, one from TX (D-37) and one from CA (D-53). I'm just wondering if there are actually two "Edmond C. Duncan"s in the under-100 D licenses. I've never seen a conversation discussing this coincidence or distinguishing one person from the other. Do you happen to know if your Ed Duncan worked at Elsinore in 1963? Or if he practiced for the first six-man at Arvin, CA in August of 1964? Thanks, Al Paradowski SCR 002
  4. Hi Doc, They certainly were The Greatest Generation! It's amazing to learn what so many people from different countries sacrificed for us and the rest of the world during WWII. I personally experienced the consideration of the French people. Every July 14th our unit was invited to march in the local Bastille Day parade commemorating the French Revolution of 1789. It's their July 4th. Your trip to St. Mere-Eglise must have been extra special with your uncle having jumped in on D-Day. I hope you were there on an important anniversary day. My dad served on a PT Boat in the Pacific and never mentioned the war. He lived to age 47 before the booze and a failed bid for a Wisconsin state senate seat cut it short. Blue Skies, Al
  5. Hello Dennis, Thanks for the heads up on Brian. I just sent him an email and also touched base with Rachael Newell in case she didn't know. Al Paradowski
  6. Hi Chris, I was in the Army in Toul, France from '59 to '61, rebuilding heavy equipment engines in the 507th Engineering Company, Depot Maintenance. I became weight lifting buddies with Ray Elliott, an older guy (early 30s) who had seen infantry combat in Korea, had re-upped and gone Airborne. Ray was the trainer on the TASCOM boxing team, encouraged me to get on the team and also inspired me to later get into sport jumping in California. Each military unit accumulates oral folklore about those who went before them. The 507th had a dramatic lineup of stories. Coincidentally, it seemed that wherever civilians asked what unit we were in, they'd treat us extremely well when they heard, "507th Engineering Company, Depot Maintenance." This increased our admiration for our company alumni. Every French school kid and their parents, regardless of their command of English, seemed to know the number designations of the units that distinguished themselves from 5 June 1944 until the end of the war. Any number that started with "five oh" was gold. The "Engineering Company, Depot Maintenance" part didn't stop them from making a big deal over us. It wasn't until checking the internet for military reunions a few years ago, that I realized just whose coat tails I had actually been riding those many years ago in the Paris and Amsterdam nightspots. Here's a short movie, "D-Day Down to Earth--Return of the 507th." I hope the link works. Al Paradowski SCR 002
  7. Hi Chris, I couldn't help noticing that little patch marked "5 June 1944" at the right of plate #1. Did your dad jump into St. Mere Eglise the night before D Day? If so, what unit was he with at the time? Did he talk about those experiences? I'm attaching my one and only patch from my short civilian career. Al Paradowski SCR 002
  8. Thanks Jim, Here's a 1965 Arvin 4-man captured by Bob Buquor's camera looking south down Edison Road (cotton gin in background). Bill Newell at 9 o'clock, Tommy Owens at 12, Tim Harris at 3 and Jim Dann at 6 o'clock. Al Paradowski SCR 002
  9. Hi Ed, Drive west out of Arvin on 223. Turn left on Edison Rd. and head south for a couple of miles. I remember being able to see the cotton gin way off in the distance to the south from the DZ parking lot on Edison Rd. Google Earth shows what looks to be the cotton gin on the west side of Edison Rd. The target was about 150 yards west of Edison Rd. You could stand in the driveway facing west (the culvert may still be there) and see the high voltage power lines running diagonally across about three miles away. I believe the undeveloped land was owned by Union Oil. It appears now to be planted with crops. On the east side of Edison Rd. were grape vineyards with four foot high wooden stakes every five feet. If you opened over the grapes and tried to steer down the east/west rows, the prevailing NW winds would blow you diagonally across them. We used to say, "Pick out a stake at 100 feet and try to hit it." We knew we weren't that good and would probably just miss it. Al Paradowski SCR-2
  10. Hi FinisP, I met your father in November of 1964 when a guy in a bar invited me to jump into a place called Arvin. Jim Dann was on that three-jumper load out of Flying Tigers in Burbank. Jim worked with Bob at Pacific Airmotive Corporation (PAC) near Lockheed and was one of his skydiving students. As you know, your father was the driving force behind organizing and filming larger and larger freefall formations at Arvin. Most of us tried to get good enough to be invited on Bob's camera jumps. If we didn't get on "The Good Load" we'd put together the best one we could and try to get a hookup going. Everybody was "under the microscope" so if someone "bombed" a star, Bob Buquor knew about it within minutes. Of the hundreds of early jumps made at Arvin only a few were successfully executed as planned. Many ended in awkward ragtag "no touches" or misshapen formations collapsing into violent whirlpools of twisting bodies and swinging boots. Most chaotic weekends would be salvaged on Sunday evening with what evolved into a traditional four-man dusk jump out of Dave Keagey's 195 from 5500 or 6500 ft. I would exit first, Bill Newell would pin me and then Jim Dann and your father would smoothly complete the formation with smiles all around as the sun disappeared into the ocean. I remember visiting your dad one evening in his trailer in the San Fernando Valley. It was early in my career and I rode along with Bob Thompson (first six-man) who went to pick up some jump photos from Bob. I found Bob to be a really personable guy. I don't know if it was you or your sister that Brian Williams introduced me to at the restaurant following Bill Newell's funeral service but I have more stories if you're interested. Here's a picture of your dad I got recently from Tim Harris. Al Paradowski SCR-2
  11. I was initially alarmed to hear that a Marine named Ed Miller, who had jumped in Southern Cal back in the day, had recently died of cancer. I checked logbook #1 and was relieved to find that the one I knew was Edwin D. I still followed the thread, noticing many similarities, even a physical likeness, to my old friend. Today I'm saddened to learn that it was, in fact, my friend. So here are my belated recollections. We met in Glendale, California at Vic Tanny's Gym, where I had been previously employed; my first job out of the service. Ed worked at Cal Edison and told us about climbing "bare 90s" (90 foot high wooden power poles with no steps) using pole climbers strapped to his boots and a waist belt looped behind the pole. Ed overheard me talking to Fred Alexander about my desire to make one parachute jump. Ed and Fred were both on reserve status with the Force Recon unit stationed at Pendleton. My girlfriend and I attended the Force Recon Marine Corps Ball at Pendleton as Fred's guests. Both Ed and Fred were airborne qualified and Ed was a current sport jumper. So, now after opening my big mouth about wanting to jump, I had more or less sealed my fate. I first went to Lake Piru on May 18, 1963, bought a logbook and got first jump training ($25.00) from Sgt. Stan Parker. It was overcast so I did mucho redundant PLFs from every conceivable angle off a picnic table. There were a couple of hop & pops made but the 2000 foot ceiling never cleared so Sgt. Stan gave me a full refund and even took us to the Tack and Saddle in Glendale for drinks. I say "us" because my buddy who had provided our transportation also brought a date, Natalie Wood's younger sister (I learned years later) to be an observer. I believe the Norseman went into Lake Casitas with a full load (one fatality) shortly thereafter?? I wound up at Elsinore on June 23, 1963 to get a physical, more training and make my first jump. Naturally, I reported back to Ed Miller at the gym that week. Ed suggested that we ride down to Elsinore the following weekend. He even offered me his Recon jump helmet to use. Luckily, my internal dialog had already begun, "Sure, you made one jump; anybody can make one jump. But now that you know how scary it is, can you do it one more time?" A few of Elsinore's jumpmasters were Recon so Ed got on my load. He would go out higher with my jumpmaster for a quick two-man. So at 3 grand I got out on the step/wheel?? of the 172 and my jumpmaster tapped me off for my second jump. As I left, I was so sense-overloaded I actually thought I heard someone yelling "Pull your reserve! Pull your reserve!" I was busy concentrating on my counting, but when I got to "eight thousand" I wondered if that voice had been real. I brought both hands in to my reserve but my head pitched down. So, I thrust my hands back out, got level, then quickly went for my reserve again, fully intending to pull this time. Just then, my main opened (cone lockup) and I had a normal landing. All agreed I had attained terminal velocity, was stable all the way and swung in around a thousand feet. Everyone was mad at me, even the dropzone coach on the PA system. My jumpmaster did, in fact, yell at me after I exited. Ed said, "Don't ever do that when I'm on the load." I can imagine how he must have felt, sitting in the back not being able to see anything except my JM going ballistic after I left. Ed and I discussed my future in jumping. But my internal dialog was saying, "Man, you can't end it on THIS jump." I don't remember Ed's exact position on the matter but we made another jump about an hour later. Ed signed off six of my first nine jumps; "Edwin D. Miller, B926." Ed and I gradually lost touch but I used his Recon jump helmet (a leather football helmet w/ chin cup, painted OD with the holes covered up with fabric tape) well into my days at Arvin. I was wearing Ed's helmet the time I got knocked out when Bob Thompson (1st six-man) and I elected to ride our tangled canopies in after a low two-man. I guess it's about time to recount that one in "Scary Stories." The last time I saw Ed Miller was when his unit got activated and was going to Viet Nam. I think I rode to Pendleton with Terry Ward who had (formerly?) been in Ed's Recon unit. I can't remember if it was still in the '60s or the early '70s. I do recall being surprised at seeing Ed and sheepishly telling him that I still had his helmet somewhere. He just said "Forget it." That statement lead me to believe that he was also headed overseas that day. It's sad to hear we've lost him. Al Paradowski SCR2
  12. Thanks Tim Al Paradowski SCR2
  13. Hi Tim, Thanks for the pictures. I dropped in, unannounced, at the Air Trash reunion at Taft on Saturday, 5-26-12 (first time for me). I wanted to spend some time with Bill Newell. I ran into Deac Dillon who didn't recognize me and so he took me over to Brian Williams to watch the fun. I even took off my hat and shades for Brian, but he couldn't place me either. Brian said he'd heard I was dead and pointed to my name on the roster of old timers he had compiled. We spent about 15 minutes catching up with Pauline and Mary Stage. I later ambushed Bill and he said, "Hi, Al. How's it going?" We caught up with Richard (Kamikaze) Hernandez, Frank Venegas and Pete Negrete along with Marianne and Stan Troeller. I also got to meet many current jumpers. They sure are good in the air these days, particularly John Bull, Randy Forbes, John Velardo, Rick Schlueter and the rest of their crew, too numerous to mention here. Air Trash puts up their jump vids every week. Brian and Bill were honored with beautifully engraved memorial placards itemizing their respective milestones and contributions to relative work. Air Trash was preparing to take their picture, presenting them as members of the first eight man, when Bill came over and dragged me up too. We made "Photo of the Month." They should be putting up a video and pix of the entire day's festivities soon. We talked about the Skydiving Hall of Fame's early relative work gig in November. I hope you're planning to atttend. You belong there, Tim, and I'm sure everyone would like to see you. Thanks again. Al Paradowski SCR2
  14. Hi Tim, Great picture: very artsy, in a "Beat" sort of way. It captures the surrealism I sometimes experienced after a hard Saturday night in Arvin. I recognize most of the people except that guy in the door. If that's who I suspect it is, I have a scary anecdote about that load. Please list any names if you get a chance. Again, let me know if you could use a contribution for photo costs. Thanks, Al Paradowski SCR2