Thanks to R. A. Lucas we
are privileged to some great
40's and early 50's Airborne
||R. A. Lucas , Served with 11th Airborne's, 511th Abn Signal
Co, from November 1946 to 1953.
Qualified in Parachutes (Senior) and Gliders. Over 100 jumps from
C-46, C-47, C-82 and C-119. He has jumped the T-5, T-7 and T-10 Parachutes.
How many of you ever heard of the T-5
It used the same canopy, suspension lines, risers and belly band as
the T-7 but it used snap hooks instead of a quick release box like the
T-7. It was more comfortable to wear when it was tight but a bitch to get
out of once you were on the ground and in a hurry. Rudy
Rudy is one of those RARE
Paratrooper who has both sets of wings;
Glider and the Senior Parachute Badge
Rudy sent us a picture of an unofficial
Set of ParaGlider Wings
And some great pictures of The
11 th in Japan ; of Paratroopers exiting a C-46;
and of a Waco CG - 4A Glider
But before we go to the Great Pictures,
thought you might just like to"SEE"
how Rudy became a Paratrooper.
|I turned 18 on 7 March 1945 and while finishing my senior year of
high school, I reported to the Selective Service board to take a draft
I was classified as 4F due to very bad
I had memorized most of the chart but
they caught me anyway.
In August 1945, I retook my draft physical and
managed to cheat enough on the eye examination to pass . I was sent to
Camp McCoy, Wisconsin to work as a finance clerk in the discharge center.
After 6 months of very boring duty, I found out that to get out of Camp
McCoy, I could take a short discharge as a draftee and re enlist in the
I was then sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama for basic training. Two
weeks later there came down a call for volunteers for the airborne.
I was the first in line in my training
company to sign up.
When I walked in to take the physical, The
officer in charge spotted me and called me over to him. He asked to see
my glasses. I handed them to him. He looked through them and then turned
to me and said,
“Your eyes are too poor to pass the physical.
Sorry, . Report back to your unit.”
While firing on the 500 yard M-1 range, I broke my glasses.
I reported to the station hospital to get a new pair. I had no choice
but to admit that I cheated on the eye examination. I was offered two choices,
I could either take an honorable discharge or remain in the service.
I decided to stay in the service.
I finished basic training and was sent to the 4th Replacement
Depot at Yokohama, Japan .
While processing we were given a recruiting speech by an 11th Airborne
1st Lt. When he asked if there were any questions, I stood up and stated,
“Sir, I flunked the physical in the States because of poor eyesight. Do
you suppose I can pass now?”
“You're standing on your own two feet aren't
you. Soldier?” was the answer. I was the first in line to sign up.
Jump school at Yamoto, Japan was swamped with new trainees, so I
had to wait my turn. It came in February 1947. But I had to take
another physical. Once again I cheated like mad on the eye exam. A medical
doctor did the final review of my exam. He took one look at my sheet and
“Let me see your glasses.” I thought to myself
“Oh Shit ! Not again!”
He took my glasses, looked through them, turned to me and said,
“Do you really want to jump that bad?” I immediately answered, “Yes SIR!”
He then printed in red ink across the front of my exam -- “ACCEPTED.”
I went to jump school at Yamoto, Japan for two weeks.
RICE PADDY TROOPER. Rudy Lucas
“A” stage was to consist of one week ground training and 5 jumps
in 5 days.
I had 3 days of ground training and 5 jumps in 4 days. I am officially
Sad New Rudolph A. Lucas aka "Rudy" passed away on Jan 30, 2004
Thanks buddy for your help in creating this site.
We will always remember and miss you.
PARATROOPERS OF THE 50's
Some Rare Pictures of the 11 th Airborne
in Sapporo, Japan During the 40's
These pictures were taken at Camp Crawford, Sapporo,
Japan. It was home to the 11th Abn from spring of 1947 until State
side deployment mid 1949 to then Camp Campbell, Ky.
You will note some of the pictures are in
color and I asked Rudy about this. His reply:
|The color pictures were taken with an Mercury II
1/2 frame 35 mm camera using
Kodachrome 16 color film. The transparencies
are over 50 years old and are still good.
The attached shot of my canopy was taken with
the same camera sometime in the fall of 1947 using the same film.
It is still good after 52 years.
Editors Note: I never had a canopy
that pretty all mine were an ole drab grayish color. But it sure lookedPRETTY WHEN IT OPENED !
| The 11th Abn Division area
of responsibility extended from Sendai, north, with the headquarters on
the northern island of Hokkaido at Sapporo, Japan from 1945 until mid 1949.
The jump school was located at Yamoto on the Sea of Japan. The western
border of the airstrip was the beach.
If you refer to the picture Glider View 1, you can see the
beach as we crossed it preparing for a landing on the air strip. Because
of the proximity of the beach all troopers doing glider flights or parachute
jumps at Yamoto had to wear life vests under their harnesses in
case of water landings.
||Maj Gen Joseph Swing. Commanding General of the wartime 11th Abn
|Locations of other outfits were:
The 511 th Parachute Infantry was at Camp Haugen.
The 188th Parachute Infantry Regiment was
at Camp Schimmelpfenning
The 187th was at Sapporo near Division Headquarters.
The Jump school was about 10-15 miles north of Camp Schimmelpfenning.
Picture of the home of the 511 th Abn Signal Co from the fall
of 1945 until its move to Camp Crawford, Japan in mid 1947.
||Field House, Camp Crawford.
Field House Camp Crawford.
Chapel, Camp Crawford.
Mess Hall, Camp Crawford.
Troop Barracks, Camp Crawford.
Orderly Supply Room , Camp Crawford.
Post Library, Camp Crawford.
This shows that paratroopers do know
how to read or at least enjoy looking
at the pictures.
Theater , Camp Crawford.
Editors Note: Hummm ??
Seems to be more Troopers around
the theater than the Library???
Red Cross Service Club
||This picture was taken at the Yamoto, Japan 11th Abn jump
school. The picture show the orderly room and troop barracks on exchange
side of it.
Enlisted Men's Club in Sapporo
Local Christian Church, Main Street Sapporo, Japan. Some Japanese
were Christians. Not all were Buddhists.
The C - 46 Was the Jump
Plane of The 11th in Japan During the 40's
A Curtiss Commando C-46.
It carried 30 troopers.
Troopers exiting a Curtiss Commando
||The picture on the left of the trooper exiting the
c-46 is one of the most famous picture of the Airborne forces of that era
. It was the opinion of all who saw it , that he had
a perfect exit body position.
(Which is something that few of us ever
Most of us exited like on the right !!!
|However, exits like the one on the above right can lead to some
entanglements of the kind to your right.
Picture was taken at the Sapporo Drop zone at Sapporo, Japan.
No one got hurt.
CG - 4A Glider Pictures
A Waco CG - 4A glider. It could carry 12 troopers. or a 1/4 ton Jeep
with loaded 1/4 ton trailer, or a 75 mm Howitzer and jeep.
The following Pictures are real RARE .
They were taken from the window of a
Waco CG - 4A Glider.
The following pictures are views from the
window of a glider as it
approaches the airstrip at the Yamoto jump
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|If you are using The Microsoft Explorer Browser and have Windows Media Player you can Click on the Beautiful Geisha Girl and hear the song "Geisha Girl"
|To find out how to obtain this song and a CD of Airborne songs i.e. "Beautiful Streamer, Blood on the Risers, Green Beret, etc." just click on the album cover
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