Altitude Parachute Training in Denmark
SHORTLY AFTER I graduated
from the HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) parachute course in
Germany and took over a Special Forces HALO team a tasking
came down through U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), for the Special Forces
Group to provide Military Free Fall training for the Danish
Jaegerkorps. I would be returning to Augsburg, Denmark. Hey, it was
a dirty job but. Somebody had to do it.
When we got to Augsburg and met our Danish students, standing in the
group was my old swim buddy, Preven Jorgensen. Preven and I had swum
back and forth from one island to the other during a Flintlock
exercise a couple of years before. Small world it was.
jumped from several different aircraft while conducting HALO
training for the Danes. I particularly liked jumping from the old
McDonnell Douglas C-47. However, most of our jumps were from an
MC-130, a C-130 especially modified for Special Operations. Our
highest jump was 25,500 feet (almost 5 miles), falling two minutes
at 120 MPH with our rucksacks strapped below our parachutes before
we pulled our ripcords at 2000 feet. I can remember seeing my shadow
racing up at me as I plunged through cloud cover below. Weird.
the end of the course, the Danes awarded us their parachute badge,
and we reciprocated by awarding them ours. We had recently conducted
parachute operations with the Germans, and I had been awarded their
parachute badge as well. I now had jump wings from four different
foreign countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Germany, and Denmark), . And
before I retired I’d add one more set from Zaire.
Again, due mostly to Donahue, my team sergeant, the training went
exceptionally well. I received a letter of appreciation sent from
COL Jensen, commanding officer of the Jaegercorps through the
Military Assistance Advisory Group in Denmark, through Seventh Army
Europe, and down to our command.
was the most fun I ever had with my clothes on!!
Tom Davis’ publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, The Fayetteville Observer’s Saturday Extra, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, Special
Warfare., and Winston-Salem Writers’ POETRY IN PLAIN SIGHT program for 2013 and 2021. He has authored several books. Tom has completed his memoir,
The Most Fun I ever Had With My Clothes On A March from Private to Colonel. He lives in Webster, NC.