After I got settled in as the Compound Commander at RC#4 I began visiting the club and meeting the
members. I really thought these guys were nuts for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. They
invited me along on a couple of their trips to A112 and I watched them jumping, still thinking they were
crazy. However, the more I hung around the club talking to them the more I learned and the more
interested I became. It wasn't long before they talked me into giving it a try.
After my 20 or so hours of training I was ready for my first jump from an L-20 beaver flown out of A112
(2nd Aviation). From an altitude of 3,000 ft I made my first static line jump which lasted all of 5 seconds,
but seemed like forever waiting for the chute to open. When I felt the jerk of the chute opening I looked
up to make sure everything had worked properly, then looked around at the scenery far below me and
yelled out, " F_ _ _ ing Amazing!"
It was a peaceful float down, beautiful scenery all around and the ground slowly nearing as I was
enjoying every second of it. Then, as I neared the dry rice paddy below, the excitement of it all clouded
my memory and I forgot what I had learned. At around 50 feet, turn into the wind. TURN INTO THE WIND!
Using a 5TU chute, my 5mph forward speed along with the 3 to 4 mph wind, slammed me into the
ground at around 8/9mph. Too fast to even think about a 'parachute landing fall' the wind kept my chute
from colasping and I was dragged head first acrossed the furroughs of the rice paddy. A couple other
jumpers managed to grab my chute and colaspe it, bringing my headlong slide to an end.
As painful as it had been, I was now hooked on jumping and from that day on, never forgot what I had
learned, 'TURN INTO THE WIND!'
I started jumping in Concord, NC before I went into the Army. I had 75 freefall jumps when I got to
Korea. When I found out about the 1st Cav skydivers I was thrilled. My CO was ostensibly a member
and I was able to talk him into letting me hitch a ride and got to the club. There was a sign posted over
the door that said " Everyone is welcome inside, but leave your rank outside". I subsequently learned
through hook and crook that virtually all far outranked me. Most everybody had nicknames that were
used freely. Everyone was a friend and was treated as such.
I showed them my logbook and I think a B license at the time and was allowed to jump right away!
From then on it was a great time.
The airstrips we jumped from were nearly all unpaved . The ones listed in my logbook are: R110 (
most frequent), R219, Craig Field, A112. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember A112 as being paved.
I do have an entry in my logbook of the pilot on one jump from A112 not using any flaps and running
off the end of the runway like an aircraft carrier and just skimming over a rice paddy before he
managed to pull up. It was a cloudy day and we could not get above 1600 ft without getting into the
clouds. The pilot asked what we wanted to do and Bob Fitz said " I don`t know about the rest of you,
but I made it this far with this SOB and I`m not gonna land with him!" We had him make a pass over the
DZ and we all hopped out and pulled as soon as we cleared the door!!
I remember a Lt from the Thai army who jumped with us. He was pretty unique... he never used an
altimeter or stop watch. He always jumped with a wrist watch held in his hand and he watched the
second hand on that! Wouldn`t use anything else!
There also was a Turkish Lt who belonged to the club. He was a friend of my CO and as their
compound was just down the road from Blue Lancer Valley he would stop and pick him up. As a lowly
private at the time I was able to hitch a ride from time to time. Other times I had to ride the bus which
was a pain.
On one occasion just trying to be civil I told him to tell his driver to get up with me some time and we
would have a beer together....... some time later this Turkish soldier showed up at my hootch and
scared the crap out of everybody and made motions for me to come with him! I didn`t have a pass and
he could not speak a word of english, but I did not want to create some kind of incident so I went. We
piled into his jeep and out the gate we went down to their compound. Went to his hootch and 25 or so
Turks gathered round, broke out some six packs and we proceeded to have a grand old time. They
were showing me pictures of their girlfriends and families with nobody speaking a word or english.
What communication took place was through Korean we both spoke. An adventure I`ll never forget.
After a few minutes more he made a motion to follow him and back to the jeep and back into BLV
without further incident.
It is my vague recollection that Choi ( or Choe) was at that time a Sgt in the ROK Army. I can`t
imagine him being allowed around if he was not. He was well liked, but was surely in the military at the
We "acquired" chutes from the airforce at Suwon among other places. I managed to acquire three
parachutes and get them modified and sleeves made for them by a civilian in Munsan- ni who made a
pretty good living sewing for the club.
We would cut out the panels to make 7 or 5 gore TUs and he would sew them and make up sleeves for
us. We were all still learning and had little to go on. Virtually no commercial stuff available then.
I jumped with the club during 64-65. Of course it didn`t become the Kiowa Skydivers until the color
switch in 65.
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|Sp5 Jerry Anderson
Kiowa Skydiver - 1969
HHC 2nd Engineer BN
|1Lt Ken Leighty
Kiowa Skydivers - 1968
Compound Commander, RC#4
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|Sp4 Wayne (Wormey) Spears
1st Team Skydivers - 1964/65
Kiowa Skydivers - 1965
HHC, 1st Brigade ( BLV )
In a few words - WHY WE DID IT
I arrived in Korea the last half of August 68 and joined up with Kiowa Skydiving Club in the early
spring of 69. I clearly remember the day I looked over toward 2nd Aviation from our motor pool during
work (Camp Peterson) and saw chutes in the sky. I went bonkers because that was something I always
wanted to do.
When I saw the jumping that was happening on the weekends, I made the trip over to 2nd Aviation to
see what it was all about and was told nothing could happen until the spring of 69. There was 5 of us
who went to RC #4 to see the club house and talk about joining but only myself and my buddy Dave
Anderson from Russell, KS. did it. The other 3 guys chickened out.
I made my first jump in April of 69 and all together around 75 jumps there at 2nd Aviation out of the
Beaver, and the Huey. I remember how excited Choe was in the summer of 69 when they finally talked
them into letting us jump Huey's. Faster to altitude than the Beaver and carry 10 jumpers at a time.
Some of the guys got a chance to jump out of a Chinook at the orphanage at Tongo-Ri. I missed that
one. My brother sent my motorcycle helmet over. They had crappy helmets to use, old football stuff.
The club, the guys, Mr Choe and the many jumps are something I will never forget.
|Joseph J. Perchetti
Specialist, US Army
HHC, 2nd Infantry Division, DCI
November 1989 - April 1991
Upon arrival to Camp Casey in November 1989, I eventually realized that I did not have to drink or
spend all of my 'hard earned' pay downtown, so my friend SPC Cook and I joined the Sport Parachute
I'm not sure if it was related to the Kiowa Club as we never referred to us as such. After practicing
packing chutes all winter in the dayroom, our jumpmaster SFC Wren stated that he would jump with
them. That was good enough for us.
One cold Sunday morning in February we loaded up the gear and drove across the street to Camp
Mobile. Up we went in the UH-60 Blackhawk. With static line exit Cook went first; I was second.
Ground training was still fresh in my mind, so when SFC Wren ordered 'Go!", my initial response was
to stand up and said "What?". He ordered a me second time to go. This was when I remembered my
training; 'that if I tell you to go three times, you will walk off the aircraft. Not wanting this, I
immediately jumped. I got out about twenty 'Holy shits', looked up, saw my chute deploying, then a
'Thank f'ing Christ'.
It was then that I remembered Cook. After looking around and steering a bit, I noticed a round
canopy beneath me. Since we were using the ram-air chute, it immediately became apparent that
Cook had to pull the reserve. I watched his decent until he was out of view and I had to commence
My landing went fairly well. I recall singing Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly on the way down as I landed
on my feet approximately thirty feet from the target near the center of the golf course.
As for Cook, according to SFC Wren he rolled during exit causing a bag lock of the pilot chute. Cook
immediately recognized this and pulled his reserve. Nothing else was mentioned of his decent,
except for landing on a three story barracks roof. The pilot maneuvered the Blackhawk near his
position. I can only imagine the abrupt awakening of the hungover soldiers in that barracks. The pilot
then added that after Cook landed, the chute went over his shoulders, landing on some power lines.
The subsequent arch shot out causing Cook to un-ass the harness in record time.
They ended the story by stating how Cook owed SFC Wren a case of beer for packing the
reserve, a case of beer for losing the main and a third case for dropping the handle.
Joe Perchetti coming in for a landing