Gentlemen, To introduce myself, I am involved in a project to get older people to learn and use IT skills. One of the projects I try to encourage is to write and publish stories. As many of the people I teach are well on the wrong side of sixty, may have amazing tales to tell. This is one story from an old and bold para. I have more of his stories, and I will share them if I get a good response. He joined in 1942 first jumping from the Whitley. He's getting on a bit so please dont crayon over his grammar and spelling. 1942 RAF Ringway. Now my first jump, we go up in a balloon after you are sent to draw chutes from a window inside a hanger (you not allowed in the main hanger). This is a part partitioned off , the area where the chutes are dried out and packed . It is a very clean place and the benches are highly polished (or were then in my days) , and the WAAFS packed the chutes then . Now our SGT RAF Instructor was a Welshman , SGT Evans. Now at the time I was going through Ringway he had done over 500 jumps so that gives you a little up lift. But as soon as he said OK gentlemen , this morning you draw chutes well, from that minute your belly has now got bloody great elephants in it all wanting to get out at same time . So off to the toilets (yes and many others follow you ) Sgt Evans laughs his head off . Well lads that's OK , that's perfectly normal for that to happen , but after today you do not go to the toilet again , this is the unknown to you , so we all make it easy for you. Right off in a lorry to Tatton Park jumping area , a big open park area with lakes in it. Two balloons all readied by the RAF. We disembark and five to each balloon and jump master Sgt Evans up with us. Now down on the ground is all hell let loose , everyone chatting away , when on-board the balloon its a side door exit . Sgt numbers us off , I'm last to drop . Sgt shouts up 800 and 6 to drop , I look there's only five of us, but the Sgt has a parachute as well and he going to do another drop. Right up we go and, within a few feet off the ground ,it becomes very silent . Only the wind going through the cables , and then as you say the jokes start by Sgt Evans; no one cracks a face , we are too bloody scared , but he keeps this up till he looks down and there's a red light, then a green, No 1 stand in door , go! , with a mighty shout well hes gone , then No 2 and so on till me No5, stand in door then a pat on the back and a shout go! And I am gone. Now I am dropping at 32 feet per second per second so the next second you have now dropped 64 feet and so on for at least 150 feet and then your chute cracks open , you look up and it's a lovely sight , then a tannoy , shouts get out of you seat straps of the chute (yes done that) , you are coming forward , feet and knees close together , legs slightly bent , do not reach for the ground all this is being tannoyed to you , right in you come forward , hit the ground , roll like a bag of shit , lovely down all in one piece , chute to clasps so pull on one of lift webs , till chute flat , on ground , then stand up , and roll up chute take to lorry , for repacking , well one down , 7 more to go , and yes it was OK , Now the next jump was from an aircraft but you are not so uptight everything is under control , and yes there's always that little bit of fear , which the Sgt says is good , it keeps you on your toes. He said a man without fear is dangerous, that's why you are put through this training.