Airborne Day 1940 was the first Army parachute jump- these were called Sky Soldiers.
I went back to Dad’s letters that are in Football Flyboy because I remembered him talking about his “new type of parachute.”
I drew an Army B-4 bag, another canvas bag, and a muster bag and a mess gear bag. There were all kinds of flying cloths and equipment. We are sending our footlockers over by water because we can’t carry but 125 lbs by air. We got a new type of parachute and it is a good one. We also got our life preserver, in case to keep us up to float in the water, and a swell walk out kit with everything in it to survive if you have to crash land and have to walk out.
I found these pictures and found it fascinating compared to the parachutes we have today.
You can see that then we had women sewing the chutes and then packing them. My mind floats as to the importance of their job. I can imagine these women working as if their own lives depended on the quality of the chute they were making.
When I look at the interior of the parachute, it is amazing that it was cotton cloth, cotton string, and in a duffle bag material attached to the soldiers back. It had to be amazing for a little Oklahoma boy to get this.
The walk out kit Dad mentions is a first aid kit which it nothing more than a few bandages, a turoquite, and a syringe of morphine.
And I love this – so your plane is going down, you have a cotton parachute with cotton string, a first aid kit, and a booklet to tell you how to survive! War really was hell.