Ft. Campbell, KY Parachute Maneuver Accident, Apr 1958




Ft. Campbell, Ky. (AP) -- Army authorities planned to go ahead with another mass airborne drop Saturday on the heels of a tragic maneuver which killed five and hospitalized 137 paratroopers.
The paratroopers were tossed about the drop zone by treacherous and shifting wind gusts.
The victims, among nearly 1,400 taking part, were dragged across the rough drop zone by billowing parachutes which they were helpless to deflate. None of those hospitalized was believed in serious condition.
"The guy who collapsed my chute for me looked like Santa Claus at Easter time," said Sgt. 1/C DANIEL KLING, St. Louis, who suffered severe cuts and bruises.
"Guess I went clear across the drop zone."
The battle-trained soldiers making the jump were members of the 502nd Battle Group one of five such groups in the streamlined 101st Airborne Division. The 502nd is the aggressor force in Exercise Eagle Wing.
The other groups, acting as defenders, are scheduled to jump Saturday.
The five who were killed were blown against trees and rocks by the wind gusts or strangled by the suspension lines when they were unable to collapse their parachutes.
Maj. Gen. W. C. Westmoreland, 44, who assumed command of the 101st earlier this month, jumped with the 502nd, his 70th jump without injury, but he was dragged 300 feet across the ground.
"I just couldn't run as fast as my chute was going," he commented.



101st airbourne

My dad was part of this group that jumped that day. Luckily he was not injured.. so sorry for the ones that was injured and lost there lives... my dad was Eddie BEAKLEY, nick named buzzard beak. He told this story several times, wished I had asked allot more questions he passed lil over a year ago. Just curious if any one might have known him back then.

Eagle Wing Casualty

My father, Captain Douglas Stickley, made this jump, and contrary to what the article suggests, was in a coma, in serious condition, for several days afterward. He has always been very proud of the fact that he jumped several times afterward. And unlike some others, his opinion of GEN Westmoreland has remained a positive one.

I have a picture of my father lying unconscious on the DZ, with Sergeant First Class Alexander kneeling next to him, and Staff Sergeant Jones standing at his feet, holding a tactical radio.

Airborne, All the Way!

Mr. Payne - my father was on

Mr. Payne - my father was on the plane with your dad. He remembers that day very well. He speaks of your dad to this day. My dad always says what a good man he was. I am sorry that you were so young. It must have been very hard for your mom as well. If you ever would like to speak with my dad - it can be arranged.

my dad was on the plane with your dad

Mr. Payne
My dad (last name: Olson) was on the plane with your dad and talks about him to this day. He always talks about how he was a good man.

Thanks for reminding the JM

Thanks for reminding the JM folks about the 1958 parachute accident. Best to you. Jim, F/B Co. '58

Ft. Campbell Jump

My sister's fiance died that day. Alfonso Martinez. A young man with a bright future. He was a terrific athlete in high school and enlisted in the Army soon after completing high school.

My sister was devastated when she received the news. She married years later and has a wonderful family.

We all remember "Al" and his family.

Roderick Cirtwill Roddy

Would anyone remember Roddy Cirtwill, 101st Family trying to verify in101st, He had told us the only thing that saved him that he landed in a tree?

Carl Gene Payne

My father died that day and I was just 4 months old. I never knew him but heard he was a great guy. May he rest in peace. Sad when thing like this happen and for no good reason.

I guess not all units had

I guess not all units had given up on jumping. I was in the 521st P.S.& M. Company (parachute riggers), and the five sections in Pack Platoon were each assigned to one of the Battle Groups for exercises involving airdrops. My section was assigned to the 327 and we flew with them to the airbase at Blytheville, Arkansas. After the C-119s dropped the 502 they flew to our location in order to drop the 327 on the following day. We first learned about the bad drop from the A.F. loadmasters, then picked up more details from radio news. Some of the aircraft were pretty messy inside, testament to rough air on the approach to the d.z. The following day we boarded he planes and flew to Campbell. Ten minutes or so out we started jump preps, and were hooked-up and ready to go as we approached Sukchon. Then someone (probably the jumpmaster standing at the open door) said there was red smoke on the dz, and the jump light went from red to off ... I think everyone was pleased that it didn't go to green.

Francis Dale Galloway "Mouse"

My husband, Frank Galloway, sometimes known as "Mouse" was in that jump. I still have the Life Magazine article. Frank died in 2010 and the last song played was "We Ain't Gonna Jump No More". He was a very, very proud paratrooper.