[courtesy of Wm F Blum, Jr]
Bumps, Breaks and Bruises Become
Routine Part of 508th Living
By Fred Rehal
CAMP CHICKAMAUGA, Japan - Bumps, breaks and bruises are the three B s of
airborne soldiers here.
But they speak of them as if they were talking about tomorrow's weather.
They are casual when they mention "that broken I leg" or "that
one of the things you expect in this kind of a job," one 508th Abn. RCT
It's a job reserved for the rugged. The need for physical fitness is
constantly stressed here. There's studied concentration on good soldiering.
A sloppy trooper is taken up quickly.
"Yes, we all get a few good bumps now and then," one veteran jumper said,
"but actually jumping out of a plane is safer than walking across the street
in some Japanese cities.
Medics take no chances when, a man
complains of anything 1 following a jump. The man is immediately moved to
base for a more complete check.
The drop zone most often used by the 508th is at Mori. "One of the
toughest I've seen," according to a trooper who had just picked himself up
in the head-high grass there.
Although there is a spate of injuries in most large-scale air drips,
they seldom keep the men out of further action for more than a day or two.
Jump for Pay
Paratroopers get $55 a month extra in hazardous duty pay. Opinion is
divided as to whether this is an incentive to the average trooper.
One grizzled old-timer here said, "I'll quit jumping when they stop the
However, [most] non-jumpers agree that [some] would have to like the
trill of jumping to remain a jumper.
"Got To Be Determined"
One officer here described the airborne soldier this way:
You can perhaps best describe the paratrooper as a determined man. He's
got to be, or else he wouldn't last long in this outfit."
[Pacific Stars and Stripes, 19 Dec 1955]