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THRILL OF JUMPING

Leighton Baird
Tells Of Service
As Paratrooper

Greenwood Boy Enjoys Thrills
Of Jumping In His Chute
At Fort Benning

   Private Leighton Baird, son of Mrs. J. M. Baird of Greenwood, is a member of the parachute troops at Fort Benning. Leighton writes interestingly of the paratroopers and of the thrills of jumping depending upon his chute to bring him safely to earth.
   In a letter to the Commonwealth he says:
   Since I have been in the parachutes, i have, received quite a few letters asking about the parachutists and if we are really the Dare-Devils that they read about.
   "Now that I have become a qualified jumper, I can explain more about the thrills and work that go with being a paratrooper. You do get a big thrill bailing out of a plane in flight at 1500 ft. That same thrill is there every time you go up, regardless of the times you have jumped.
   "We have complete faith in our chutes and so do not consider our selves Dare-Devils. It is more in the line of duty. At one time it was considered a miracle when one opened, now it is considered a miracle if one doesn't.
   "During our training we learn to care for our chutes, and long hours are spent on physical training. We have well known acrobats teaching us tumbling so that the landing shock is no greater than that of stepping off a curb.
   "Every man in this outfit is proud of being a paratrooper and even tho it is now comparatively young, I believe in the near future, we will be looked upon as America's No. 1 fighting unit. "I'll venture to say that our physical course is far more strenuous than any branch of any Army, with the possible exception of the British Commandos.
   "I hope that I have cleared up a few points for the public on Uncle Sam's fastest growing outfit."

[The Greenwood Commonwealth, Greenwood, Ms, 06 Jul 1942, Mon, Page 1]

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