Copyright© CJ Magro, Paratroopers of the 50's
Paratroopers of the 50's
SAYS
Thanks to Paul Shea we are privileged to more 40's 
Airborne lore and pictures.
First some pictures of Camp Haugen, Japan 1947.

Train Station                               Camp Haugen
Mutswu Ichikawa train staCamp Haugen Japan 1947
                    Barracks Construction                         Headquarters -  511
barrickHQ 511
                         511                                   Red Cross & Library               Garbage Detail 
 picturepictureGarbage Pick up
   Formation in the snow                      Officers Club
Haugen in the snowpicture
   Paul is the tall guy on left doing side straddle hops          Good  "OLE" push up           
picturepicture
picturepicture
         Stockade                         Rifle Range                    War Damage 
picturepicturepicture

 
picture And of course some things never change,
Paratroopers showing off their mucles.

Editor's note: I must confess have a picture  of me doing the same thing.
 



Now to some Jump Stories and Picturespicture

 In late January of 1947, one hundred forty, 18 year old replacements joined 14 B-511th oldtimers at Camp Haugen Japan. Several months later about 90 of the newcomers were Airborne qualified. Later that summer, our company traveled from Camp Haugen to Sendai for glider training. CG4 Glider

It had rained off and on for 9 days and we were scheduled to make an equipment jump. When it cleared for a few hours, we were sent to the field to watch a demonstration of dropping equipment with cargo chutes. A C-46 approached and began the demo. One of the cargo chutes snagged on the tail of the plane. The pilot made several approaches trying to shake off the chute. He was unsuccessful and finally flew off to somewhere. The non-coms assured us that a snag was unusual etc. But it certainly was on our minds the next day when we had to make our equipment drop.
Paras Loading We chuted up, clambered into idling C-46 transports and took off. We were bound for the Ojojahara training grounds.

Our plane did not have seats. Getting to our feet, loaded with field packs, entrenching tools,weapons added to the weight of our chutes was difficult. But we made it and lined up for final inspection. I was #13 man in the left hand stick.

The command for "Sound Off for Chute Check" was given. But the man behind me did not give me the usual knee in the butt. The jumpmaster talked to him and reshouted the Check Chute command. This time I got the knee in my butt and passed it along to man in front of me.
The bell rang and the stampede out the two doors began. The plane was bucking and men were tripping over the machine gun and mortar bundles being pushed out the doors. Creating a very messy exiting.
Bad Exit
Shea landing hard
I kept counting as I fell, finally realizing I had to pull my reserve. I grabbed the D-ring but at that moment my main opened with a severe opening shock. I swung once and slammed into the rain soaked ground. The other jumpers were still 300 to 400 feet above me so  I lay there watching the barrage of steel helmets, carbines, chute bags and cameras tumble from the sky.
My lower left leg was very painful.
A trooper landed stiff legged a few feet from me and went head first into a 3'deep water filled shell hole. He struggled and then went limp. I called to two running troopers and they pulled the man from the shell hole and left him face down on his reserve and field pack. A sergeant came by, kicked the man in his gut several times, shouting "This ain't no rest camp. Get up and get going."
The man stumbled to his feet, puked out some muddy water and stumbled away.
Injured Trooper

The man who was behind me ran up and asked me how my chute opened. I said " It almost didn't". He noted that my main parachute had onlyone cord from the pack cover to the chute instead of the required four. He showed it to the jumpmaster who shrugged and said "He should have noticed it. Let him go."

My left shin bone was cracked and I was helped off the field. I was too ignorant to keep the little chute record book to find whose sloppy chute packing nearly killed me. I have often wished I could some day find that jumpmaster to express my opinion of his consideration for my well being.

My second jump at jump school also was interesting. I reached up to clear my risers and found Jr. Herndon of my squad tangled in my shroud lines. He had hooked his fingers under my chute and we left the plane together. His combat boots were tangled in my chute. He managed to free himself a few feet above the ground. We landed very hard and I could touch him. I was his squad leader and we had a discussion about the stupidity of his actions. Then I hobbled away on my sprained ankle.


Pauls comments on 40's Jump School:
Our injury rates were high compared to modern training. I think about 140, 18-19 year olds, from B-511th went to Yamoto jump school in May (?) 1947. Perhaps 90 returned to camp two weeks later, uninjured and 5 jump qualified... I hobbled back with sprained ankle and twisted kneecap. Some quit and the others dribbled in after their hospital stays....
I jumped 8 times and got injured 4 times. Not a good record ! 
I am awed by modern jumpers that can land in a parking lot. We couldn't tell within 1/8 mile of where we might land !
Editor's note: The following Pictures appear to sum up Camp Haugen's,
Jump Training Sequence:

Paras Loading
They Loaded

picture
They Exited

picture
They went to the Hospital

AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY !!

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