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
Barracks Construction Headquarters - 511
511 Red Cross & Library Garbage Detail
Formation in the snow
Paul is the tall guy on left doing side straddle hops
Good "OLE" push up
Stockade Rifle Range War Damage
||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 Pictures
| 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.
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.
||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.
||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.
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:
They went to the Hospital
AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY !!
Return to top of Page
|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 Risiers, Green Beret, etc." just click on the album cover
Want to see more pictures of the 50's :
Combat Jumps; Jump School; The Planes; and Great Jump Pictures?
Then use our drop down menu and pick a DZ to jump on.
Paratrooper of the 50's Site Index
IF YOU HAVEN'T SIGN THE GUESTBOOK MANIFEST, PLEASE DO.
BUT FIRST BETTER READ OUR WARNING THIS IS "FOR MEN ONLY !"
Be part of one of the largest data base to find old Para Buddies !!
Please, list the dates and units you served with.
Sign Our MANIFESTView Our MANIFEST
To tell Paul what you think or ask a question send him an
Visits This Site
Paratroopers of the 50's main Index Page