Jump Demonstration
Berks, England
March 23, 1944

photo and sketch from Robert R. Webb, Jr. [son of the late Robert R. Webb, Sr.
(SSG, HQ, 3rd BN, 506th PIR, 1942-1945 and author of Freedom Found)]

3rd BN Paratroopers

Paratroopers from 3rd BN, 506th PIR before the Churchill Demonstration Jump

Top Row (L-R): Jumpmaster Robert Webb (#10, HQ, 3rd BN); LT John King (HQ);
T/5 Warren E. Nelson (G Co, armorer; KIA D-Day); T/5 Bruce Paxton (H Co)
Bottom Row
(L-R): Fred Bahlau (H Co);
Zolman S. Rosenfield (G Co); John Luteran
(I Co); Eugene Darby (HQ, 3rd BN); T/5 John S. Mihalko (HQ, 3rd BN, armorer)

The transport gliders in the background are HORSAs (wingspan 88 feet; length 67
feet; weight 15,250 pounds; towing speed 100 mph), manufactured in Britain by
Airspeed Ltd., and each designed to carry 2 crew members and 20-25 passengers.

Webb, Bahlau, Rosenfield, and Luterine were all Supply Sergeants
and were billeted at the Bleeding Horse Pub in

Bleeding Horse Pub

Jump Demonstration, March 23, 1944
photo from LTC Trevor J. Bredenkamp
(A Co, 1st BN, Commander and Unit Historian, ROK, 1998-1999)

From the reviewing stand,
Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister;
GEN Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander;
LTG Omar N. Bradley, U.S. First Army Commander;
MG Maxwell D. Taylor, 101st Airborne Division Commander;
BG Don F. Pratt, Assistant Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (KIA D-Day); and
BG Anthony C. McAuliffe, Deputy Commander of the 101st Airborne Division,
witness a jump demonstration put on by the 2nd BN, 3rd BN, and REGT HQ Company
of the 506th PIR
and the 377th FA BN.

photos from the Life at Camp Breckinridge, KY. magazine, Winter 1953 Edition
Jump Demonstration, Berks, England

The rest of the 101st Airborne Division viewed the jump from the side of the field.

Inspecting Equipment
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Supreme Allied Commander GEN Dwight D.
inspect equipment of the 1st BN of the 506th PIR, which had been chosen to be the
inspection troops while the 2nd BN and 3rd BN of the 506th PIR jumped.

After the inspection, the Prime Minister called the 1st BN Currahee troopers to gather round him and told them how much would be expected of them in the forthcoming invasion. At this time, the men who were to do the jumping were going thru the usual "sweat-out" period.

With the approaching drone of the '47s, silence descended on the ranks of watchers, as all attention was riveted skyward. The air armada roared along in a perfect V of V's, and a spontaneous murmur ran thru the onlookers as the first sky troopers cleared the doors and started the long descent. Stick after stick emptied into space in a seemingly unending deluge of men and equipment. As soon as the first men began to land, the visitors rode out to watch them assemble in a stretch of woods. The troopers were twisting out of their chutes as rapidly as possible and heading for the assembly area on a dead run, putting their weapons together without slackening speed. The visitors seemed amazed at the rapidity with which they disappeared into the woods and took up their positions. The order came to move out, and in record time from the moment of the jump, the two Currahee battalions were moving out in orderly attack formation.

This was the final practice jump before combat.

Text from the Currahee Scrapbook, 506th PIR 20 July 1942 - 4 July 1945

These pages are maintained the
506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault)
This page updated 04/06/13