April, '67, graduation jump.
Lots of parents wives, girlfriends, etc. in attendance.
Last lift, one guy had a real bad Mae West. He deployed his reserve which immediately wound around his lines.
He hit the ground a LONG time before anybody else.
Hush falls over crowd....Turned out it was only a 2nd Lt. and he only managed to break his ankles. Got everybody's attention, though.
Funniest part was they gave me "Distinguished Honor Graduate"
April 67.....we graduated about the same time.
Raider Ted & I were in the same class. The first week was Physical Conditioning and Motivation Week. That was ALL PT. Log drills, actions in the aircraft-mess up and it was more PT. If you screwed up EVERYBODY got smoked. We were given a taste of all the upcoming things we'd experience in the next 3 weeks. We rode the buddy seat on the 250' tower and all the NYC guys kept talking about Coney Island. It was Nov & Dec. In the morning we lost them to frostbite of the lungs and in the afternoon to heatstroke. Everything was done at the double and the Airborne Shuffle was used to make all runs from and to all locations-except after noon chow. Boots and fatigues were the uniform with a pistol belt with a rolled poncho & canteen. The helmet never left our head unless it was a break. If you didn't smoke you policed up the butts of them what did. We had a few Squids go thru with us and they were some of the first UDT guys to convert to SEALs. Blatz Beer was 25 cents a quart and a quart made you sleep real good. Bugler Tobacco Kit contained the rolling machine, can of Bugler, papers and a small can to keep the pre-rolled cigarettes in. Evenings were spent spit shining boots and cleaning buckles inside & out and equipment for the morning inspection. I got one gig. For a haircut. I got one the previous evening and I was pissed. We has a shitload of SGT Pruitts. One fell out of the 34' tower reaching for the risers. He tried to do a PLF but got fucked up when he landed. Wings were presented in one of the halls with little ceremony. We rode the Brown Hound to the 82d & met Blood Burns. "Contrary to popular belief there will be no leaves or passes given over the Christmas Holidays. DROP." I went to Mortar Battery 325 and Ted went to the Arty. We were later in the same battery when a new Bn was stood up. And here we are, 45 years later on the same board!
SSgt Blood Burns was one of my Jump School Instructors at Bragg in 1958. He was the NCOIC of our class. We got to greet him first thing every morning, blessed with his presence all day, and the last Instructor we saw at the end of the day. Fun guy I tell ya, fun guy.
I remember the dudes with Big Heads that had to wear motorcycle helmets! Big white helmets, and thinking, thank the lord that aint me, that was some funny shit! We still had steel pots when I went thru in June 0f '84. I went straight from Basic and AIT, so it wa pretty awesome to finally be there (82nd Airborne Contract...8 Grand bonus upon graduation.....Private E-1, Hell Yeah!) The first thing was they had all these Lt's there from all over, ROTC, West Point, etc., so us poor enlisted folk were given Zero Week! Pretty much meant you were less than zero! The first day some Leg NCO from main post picked me up in a govt pick up, lawn mower and gas in the back....dropped me off at Doughboy Football field, had me unload mower and gas, gave me an MRE....and said see ya at 1700! We buffed and cleaned every inch of School of the Americas....Infantry Museum....mowed common areas in Officer housing....after that week, we could not wait to start Airborne School. Monday we had formation, and they informed us that we would be having another Zero week! Man, that shit sucked! Well, I finally made it to 45th Company, Land Soft, Kill Quiet! Loved Jump School! They had a huge, antique type bath tub sitting out in the middle of the ground week stuff, and they would throw heat casualties in it with a block of ice and water. I remeber thinking that the people in it always looked pretty much dead! They always asked if we wanted to quit, and all you have to do is go to the "White House" and they will give you ice cream! Boot Blacks rocked, never got to the Gig pit till the last day, the Black Hat yelled Roster # 102, Get to the Gig Pit!!!!! Hated PT in those saw dust pits! And of course remember trying to pick up one of the two chicks at the Hidden Door, with 500 other Airborne School students trying to do the same thing! Fun Times!!!
One of my more pleasant Jump School memories is of what was called "The Death Run" the last day of Tower Week. We ran, in tight formation, for forty-five minutes, non-stop. No one fell out, no one was out of step that I can remember, and a Black HAT Captain took the time to congratulate the class on "Great Esprit de Corps, and a true Airborne spirit." He said he had never seen another class run as long, in such a tight formation, and with such spirit. Great Days! Just want to add that this was in April 1965.
Proud to be a Vietnam Veteran.
I graduated Feb 6, 1959 at Fort Campbell Ky. Colder than a well diggers ass in the Arctic. One jump on Monday, one on Wed. and three on Friday. We came closs to getting a night jump. After the pinning ceremony on Yamota DZ it was dark and cold as the artic in winter. One thing about the weather was you deffinately didn't sweat doing PT. Hell I was 17 and turned 18 during Jump Week. I thought Jump School was GREAT. That was in a different time. AIRBORNE! GERONIMO!!
45th Company in January - cold and windy in the old wooden WW2 barracks on top of the hill above LAAF - breezy drop from the 250' tower during Tower Week carried me across the plowed area, across the grass area, and I landed on the asphalt in the parking area next to the TMP - made me pause for a second to decide whether or not I wanted to continue...but just for a second.
"Don't let yourself get treed by a Chihuahua."
"SF doesn't do harassment. No encouragement; no discouragement. You cannot be in SF if you do not set your own standards. Nobody sets it for you. They just watch what you do. If you rest when you should be working, if you drink when you should be humping, if you let your buddy carry a load too heavy for him - you're gone. No questions, just you're gone. They don't need you."
I graduated Jump school in June '72. One of the memories I'm reminded of that stuck out were of a black hat SSG who had war injuries to his legs. He had some ugly scars like his legs were sliced up and chunks taken out. Nevertheless, he led all, if not most of our runs in formation. Would anyone remember who this was?
My biggest memory of Jump school was my first jump. My battle buddy from OSUT was supposed to be door man. We took off, got the 10 minute warning and stand up commands, he refused to stand up, and quit the course right then. Which put me in the door for the first jump. I remember stepping up to the door, getting the stand by command from Sgt Airborne Pagano (sp?), then having him ask real lovingly in my ear if I needed to be pushed. I told him no, but never heard go or saw a green light since I was so focused on the horizon. Just felt the pat on the back and walked out. Forgot to count, was a night jump in broad daylight, and couldn't believe what I had just done. It was awesome, and how I wish I was back there again.
"`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat:`we're all mad here.'"- Lewis Carroll
While learning how to do water landings in the nutcracker I was paired with a female lt. She was short, dumpy looking and never spoke to me. I was in the harness first, and it was one of those old T-10 harnesses with the one connection point for all of the straps that had probably been hanging there since the Korean War. I noticed that the strike plate was a bit stiff and I had to strike it twice to get it to release. Well, when she got in it and it was time to “strike the plate” she couldn’t get it to release. I thought I would help her out and strike the plate for her. I gave her no warning, I just hit it with the palm of my hand, I guess a little too hard because she let out a little yelp and hit the ground. What I didn’t know was a black hat was standing behind me observing. I probably hit the leaning rest and started pushing away
about 2 seconds after she hit the ground, my ear still ringing from the string of adjectives that struck me from behind at a high decibel level. Sounded like that black hat was sitting on my shoulder. He stood over me and gave me hell while another black hat checked on the lt. Needless to say, I did pushups til he got tired and every time he saw me the rest of the day. The lt never said a word and I don’t remember ever seeing her again. Georgia
4.2" Mortar Plt
"High Angle Hell"
CSC, 2/504 78 to 80
On my second RVN tour, I was sent to Jump School at Dong Ba Thin, Vietnam. It was two weeks long and I graduated with US and ARVN Jump wings! (6 jumps)
" Get out of that door you Goddamn piece of shit" and than I felt the kick of the boot on my skinny ass and the small of my back- it broke my grasp of the tower door and out I went screaming like a little girl
I don't have any bad memories of Jump school...I was prior service and kept My E-5 rank when I got there in April '88. We didn't have bad weather at anytime. Ran in tennis shoes for PT. Only duties I had during the entire time I was there was 2 nights on CQ. We didn't have any tower jumps so after 1st week of all the introductory fun stuff (thousands of PLF's off the stage) we went from the mock door, sliding down the sling lines to jump week. We had a pretty good group of SEAL's that were a blast to hang out with. Had some ROTC cadets and 2 of them were these sexy little hotties....mmmmm. 1st jump was the most memorable I was third in line on the chalk and because I HATE flying (still do) and the heat of the C130 coupled with the sudden rush of cool air when we were standing up I ended up throwing up on the LT in front of Me...the Black Hat pulled Me aside after the jump and told Me he laughed his ass off at that. Except for bouncing out the door on My 3rd jump and hitting the side of the plane about 3 times and leaving Me in a bit of a daze but other then that I'd go back and do it again.
C/10/2 Cobras OSUT (Harmony Church - 'Da Church) Oct '83 (11C) Ft Benning, GA
1/187th Rakkasans '83-'85 (11C) Panama, Ft Davis & Ft Clayton
3/502nd Strike '85-'87 (11C) Ft Campbell, Ky
600th QM '88-'91 (43E2P) Ft Bragg, NC
SOTFD-D '91-'93 (43EW2P) Ft Bragg, NC
4th PsyOps '93-'94 (43EW2P) Ft Bragg, NC
You're about to jump out a perfectly good airplane Johnny, how do you feel about that?
You gonna jump or jerk off?