Tuesday, June 12, 2018

1980 … Literally out of the blue !

In the late 70's my husband and I and the children moved to the small town of Vass, North Carolina. It is very close to Fort Bragg where the army conducts training operations and manuevers. In those days you could drive straight through the base and we used it often as a short cut to Fayetteville. This is not possible now as they've closed it to all but military personnel.

I will never forget one night around 10 when we were coming back home through the base. We had just left the Ft. Bragg compound and were on a dark and deserted stretch of road that was part of the Pope Air Force base. All of a sudden we heard popping sounds and we stopped the car to see what it was. We watched in amazement as thousands of flares lit up the sky. We could make out low flying troop planes with their hatch doors opening wide. Then, as if on cue, the paratroopers jumped.

The sky was teeming with tiny floating figures held aloft by their parachutes and slowly making their way toward the ground. Our vantage point didn’t allow us to see them actually make a landing but we did see two of the fellows get caught in tree branches.

There must have been hundreds of them and, as beautiful as it was to watch, it was also clear that this was no game. As the last of the jumpers reached ground the light gently faded away and we were once again in the dark. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but a very sobering one. I will never forget it.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

It would be exciting to see such an exercise. Scary too I imagine!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...


3:53 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Wow... what a sight for a passerby...:)

5:38 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Wouldda freaked me out!
But at least they weren't dropping in from 'the mother ship!'
What an experience!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

That was quite a sight, Ginnie, and one I would never forget as well.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Joared said...

That would be an awesome scene. I think of how such a sight could elicit different emotions, depending on whose troops they were.

6:15 AM  

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