2 parachute regiment

Walter Gordon, Floyd Talbert, John Eubanks, unknown, Francis Mellet of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division. D-Day

Jumping at the chance

In honor of National Aviation History Month, we would like to share with you some of the images and documents within our holdings at the National Archives at Riverside. Today’s post comes from Tim, an archives technician here at Riverside.

Airplanes are not just used for travel and for air shows—you can jump from them, too! I was a part of the 2-505th Parachute Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division in North Carolina for three years with a total of 32 jumps altogether. My old 1st Sergeant used to say, “Men, it doesn’t matter where you land; even if you’re landing on the asphalt, if you keep your feet and knees together you’ll be alright.” When I discovered that we have parachute records in our holdings, I “jumped” at the opportunity to check them out. There are records that discuss different patents for parachutes and parachute equipment, but what caught my eye were records that talked about my pastime—jumping out of airplanes!

These documents show the different types of aircraft used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army for dropping equipment and paratroopers. They were created by the National Parachute Test Center in China Lake and El Centro, California.  

Series: Parachute Project Files, 1970-1978.  Record Group 181, Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments.

The British Task Force under Argentine attack in San Carlos Water after landing troops to retake the Falklands. MV Norland is straddled by bombs as she prepares to head for open water after disembarking men of 2 Parachute Regiment. On the left is RFA Stromness and on the right is HMS Intrepid.