Thursday, May 31, 2018

During World War II 16 Soldiers Survived Parachuteless Falls

Strange History: The Gannet Club: Parachuteless in WW2

Jumping out of a plane without a parachute is never a good idea. But it is striking that some individuals walk away, or more likely are carried away, with a few token broken bones and a story to dine out on for the rest of their lives. Most modern examples are of parachutists who have had chute problems, particularly while messing around with free fall. But ‘the golden age’ of parachuteless falls was, of course, WW2, when hundreds of thousands of young men took to the skies to fight for their countries and many found themselves (i) without a parachute, (ii) without a serviceable parachute, (ii) out of reach of a parachute, or (ii) otherwise indisposed (e.g. unconscious) when the time came to leap. These men were all ineligible for the caterpillar club (a club for those who have survived thanks to a parachute: another post another day). We nominate them, instead, for membership of the gannet club: named after the rapid diver that plunges vertically from great heights after fish.

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WNU Editor: They are those who are lucky. And then there are those who are beyond lucky.

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