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Locally, there's been a bit of a celebration for the 100th Birthday of "Pee Wee" Martin, one of the original Toccoa paratroopers with the 101st Airborne. Three C-47s, two of which actually took part in D-Day, including "That's All Brother," which is believed to have been at the lead of the aircraft taking off with the main force of paratroopers jumping into Normandy. I hope it works.

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Thanks,  Doc.

 

A question that has always niggled at me. On a combat drop do the men in the stick,  when they land, move towards the center?  Towards the first guy out?  Towards the last guy out?

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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1 hour ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

A question that has always niggled at me. On a combat drop do the men in the stick,  when they land, move towards the center?  Towards the first guy out?  Towards the last guy out?

 

Since I never made it to jump school, despite several attempts to get there, I will defer to @Utah Bob #35998 and a couple of others on that one. 

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1 hour ago, DocWard said:

 

Since I never made it to jump school, despite several attempts to get there, I will defer to @Utah Bob #35998 and a couple of others on that one. 

 

 

I figured that one of them would chime in on it.  I  can make reasonable arrangements for each of those possibilities,  likely all wrong. 

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2 hours ago, Four-Eyed Buck,SASS #14795 said:

That had to be one COLD jump!:FlagAm::lol::blush:

 

It was in the fifties, so definitely chilly. It was the very light rain that made things unpleasant.

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6 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

Thanks,  Doc.

 

A question that has always niggled at me. On a combat drop do the men in the stick,  when they land, move towards the center?  Towards the first guy out?  Towards the last guy out?

They were all given clickers so they could locate each other.

 

google dday clicker

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1 minute ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

They were all given clickers so they could locate each other.

 

google dday clicker

 

But which way were they supposed to go to assemble?   Towards the first man out?  Towards the last man out? Towards the middle of the drop zone?

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I have the honor of having met one of the D-Day pilots and being invited to his 90th birthday party five years ago. LtCol Dave Hamilton is still as vibrant as most guys a third his age and he can drink almost everyone I ever knew under the table.  And he has the greatest belly laugh you ever heard.

 

I still see him every now and then at Zeke's Eatin' Place in Prescott.

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8 minutes ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

I love the C-47’s growl!  

 

There used to be about six Goonies at a nearby airport that were still used for freight hauling. Their sound always made me look up.

 

The thought of hundreds of them flying over in formation sort of boggles the mind.

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1 hour ago, DocWard said:

 

The thought of hundreds of them flying over in formation sort of boggles the mind.

I think that very thought any time there’s a warbird flying.


What was it like to see a formation of 200 B-17s, contrails streaking right towards your factory?

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On 4/24/2021 at 12:59 PM, Subdeacon Joe said:

Thanks,  Doc.

 

A question that has always niggled at me. On a combat drop do the men in the stick,  when they land, move towards the center?  Towards the first guy out?  Towards the last guy out?

What would truly be hilarious is if you asked a 100 year old guy that question and he answered:

”I could tell ya, but then I’d have to kill ya.” and mean it! 

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On 4/24/2021 at 1:59 PM, Subdeacon Joe said:

Thanks,  Doc.

 

A question that has always niggled at me. On a combat drop do the men in the stick,  when they land, move towards the center?  Towards the first guy out?  Towards the last guy out?

A combat jump is a carefully choreographed thing. Assuming everything works and they drop you in the right spot, a rally point on the DZ has been designated before hand. All jumpers have studied the maps and aerials and should be able to move to the rally point.

Of course no plan survives the first shot. On D Day the troops were dropped all over the landscape, sometimes miles from their designated Drop Zone. The clickers helped them locate each other, usually in small groups and frequently with no Officer or NCO among them. Due to the intense planning and rehearsals beforehand the airborne troops still managed to be highly effective in locating their objectives and accomplishing their missions. (And fortunately Schickelgruber was asleep and didn’t release the Panzer Divisions)

 

The majority of jumps I made were in the dark because it’s much better to not be seen.

We made a night jump into Germany in 69 on a NATO exercise. Clear weather, no moon. We were dropped in the right place but the pilot apparently thought he was re-enacting D Day and our altitude was way low. I lost 3 team members to injuries that night.

 

Here’s a repro WW2 cricket.

500DF34E-ABBC-46D6-AD32-5EE48BAF6F01.jpeg

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40 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

A combat jump is a carefully choreographed thing. Assuming everything works and they drop you in the right spot, a rally point on the DZ has been designated before hand. All jumpers have studied the maps and aerials and should be able to move to the rally point.

Of course no plan survives the first shot. On D Day the troops were dropped all over the landscape, sometimes miles from their designated Drop Zone. The clickers helped them locate each other, usually in small groups and frequently with no Officer or NCO among them. Due to the intense planning and rehearsals beforehand the airborne troops still managed to be highly effective in locating their objectives and accomplishing their missions. (And fortunately Schickelgruber was asleep and didn’t release the Panzer Divisions)

 

The majority of jumps I made were in the dark because it’s much better to not be seen.

We made a night jump into Germany in 69 on a NATO exercise. Clear weather, no moon. We were dropped in the right place but the pilot apparently thought he was re-enacting D Day and our altitude was way low. I lost 3 team members to injuries that night.

 

Here’s a repro WW2 cricket.

500DF34E-ABBC-46D6-AD32-5EE48BAF6F01.jpeg

 

 

Thank you for the detailed response, Bob.   For some reason I had been thinking that the guys from each aircraft would try to rally, then move off together to the company or battalion rally point.  What little I know of how paratroops operate comes mostly from reading the book, Currahee, by Donald Burgett.  

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A C47 can hold 28 paratroopers. When I was in we jumped mostly from C47s because the bid birds were being used over in the SEAsia Live Fire exercise. That’s about a platoon, and a rifle company will consist of 3-4 platoons and a HQ element. So it will take 5 planes to deliver a company to the drop zone. If you recall in Band of Brothers the company commander never made it so Winters took over. These days one plane will deliver more than a company. 
I’m very fond of the 47. It was a great plane but it had a pretty narrow jump door. Fortunately I’m a Hobbit sized trooper and generally had no problem. If you look at the troops sitting in the plane it becomes clear that if they were standing in a line they’re longer than the cabin.


So when everybody gets up the jumpers on the port side face the door and the starboard side troopers face the cockpit. Only the port side hooks up their static lines. As the port side line moves rear and out the door the first guy on the starboard side pivots and gets behind the last port side guy and hooks up his static line. Everybody behind him follows. It takes a while to empty the aircraft that way. On bigger craft like the C119, C130 and C141 you have a port and starboard side door or you can go out the rear ramp (more fun) so things move faster. 

I was only on one flight that had a problem. It was at Ft. Devens, MA. Shortly after take off I noticed the port engine was dumping oil over the wing. I tapped the crew chief as he walked by and said “Hey. That’s not supposed to happen right?” He turned the color of the clouds we were flying over and headed to the cockpit about the time the pilot feathered the prop. We made it back to the airfield. I had my team stand and hook up just in case. We came back over the town pretty dang low.

Another time we had a jump cancelled because of high winds so we landed at an alternate airfield to be trucked in. The crew got off when we did. I asked the pilot if they were going to go to lunch. “Nope”, he says. “That was the old girl’s last flight. Max hours on th3 airframe. It rolled of the line at Douglas Aircraft in 42. A ferry crew will fly it to the boneyard to be scrapped”

I should have felt honored to be on her last flight I guess. But I didn’t. :blink:

 

Well that was more than I intended to write. But it was a cool plane for not having guns, bombs, rockets, and such.

Until Puff that is. And that’s a whole other thing. :D:FlagAm:

A113A051-221F-4C58-B9F0-D6F797B238EF.jpeg

907E561D-4E40-47A2-924A-1A60829EBEA5.jpeg

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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9 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Well that was more than I intended to write. 

There are some of us out here in cowboy land that enjoy reading about you "been there, done that" guys. Keep writing.

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14 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

A combat jump is a carefully choreographed thing. Assuming everything works and they drop you in the right spot, a rally point on the DZ has been designated before hand. All jumpers have studied the maps and aerials and should be able to move to the rally point.

Of course no plan survives the first shot. On D Day the troops were dropped all over the landscape, sometimes miles from their designated Drop Zone. The clickers helped them locate each other, usually in small groups and frequently with no Officer or NCO among them. Due to the intense planning and rehearsals beforehand the airborne troops still managed to be highly effective in locating their objectives and accomplishing their missions. (And fortunately Schickelgruber was asleep and didn’t release the Panzer Divisions)

 

The majority of jumps I made were in the dark because it’s much better to not be seen.

We made a night jump into Germany in 69 on a NATO exercise. Clear weather, no moon. We were dropped in the right place but the pilot apparently thought he was re-enacting D Day and our altitude was way low. I lost 3 team members to injuries that night.

 

 

I do recall from my very brief time (just a bit over a year) in a Reserve SF unit, one of the oldest members in the unit, a Vietnam vet, would talk about LGOPs (Little Groups of Paratroopers) and the LGOP mindset. Basically, don't complain, be adaptable, work with those around you and with what you have to accomplish the mission. Of course, he was much more graphic than that. He was more graphic about everything. As I understood and understand it, the concept stemmed from the drops from WWII, and still work well today.

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Of course I never participated in a mass jump like the 82nd and 101st. We jumped in teams, usually 12 men or less. The SAS guys we worked with occasionally usually used 6 man teams.

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