WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 Wanted: Parachute troops. The U.
8. Army Is looking for 411 volunteers to form the nation's first parachute
troop battalion. The men must come from . the 24 infantry regiments
of the regular army; no draft trainees need apply.
Parachute battalion volunteers are promised extra pay and unusual chances
for advancement. They must be between 31 and 33 years old. unmarried,
and have "agility, Intelligence, initiative and daring."
The volunteers will join a small experimental detachment already In
service at Fort Benning, Ga., to form the 501st parachute battalion.
Besides the 501st, another parachute battalion is planned. Secretary
of War Stimson announced yesterday.
[The Index-Journal, Greenwood, SC, 21 Oct 1940, Mon,
GET CHANCE TO
Army Opens New Outfit
to the New Boys
So selectees in the new army will not feel that
they're being overlooked and develop an inferiority complex, the army
announced yesterday through the public relations office at MacDill field
that they, too, may become parachute troops if they apply themselves.
Previously, only regular army soldiers were allowed to leap in parachutes,
but now selectees who complete training at infantry replacement centers
will be permitted to volunteer for the work
First Unit Open
The first unit which will be open to the trainees will be the 502nd
Infantry Parachute battalion, second of the four parachute battalions
which have been authorized. This battalion will be formed July 1.
A cadre of 92 officers and enlisted men, now part of 501st Infantry
Parachute battalion, at Fort Benning, Ga., will provide the nucleus
for the new 502nd. which also will be stationed at Fort Benning.
Formation of the new unit will increase the ranks of parachutists to
approximately 1000 men. the 501st, formed on Oct. 3, 1940, was designed
primarily to provide cadres for the remaining three battalions. The
503rd is scheduled to be formed Sept. 1, and the 504th on Nov. 1.
Many Ask Transfer
Since the war department adopted the plan for parachute troops, enlisted
men and officers or many branches have been requesting transfers to
the new activity, but thus far infantry organizations have supplied
the necessary personnel.
Requirements for parachutists are very rigid. The parachutist must
be a jack of all trades in the use of the instruments of war.
The reason for this is obvious, because when a parachutist lands, he
must be prepared to use or help to use the nearest weapon available.
Trainees who want to try it were Instructed to apply to their commanding
officers. Good parachutists get extra pay.
Tampa Tribune, Tampa, FL, 23 Jun 1941, Mon 7]