On August 16th, 1940 the Parachute Test Platoon made their first parachute jump. In June of 1940 200 soldiers volunteered for the Parachute Test platoon of that 200, 48 enlisted and 2 officers were chosen to be the first paratroopers. Less than 45 days after stepping forward to volunteer they made their first jump on the morning of August 16th 1940. Lt. William Ryder, Platoon Leader was the first to jump and Private William “Red” King soon followed to be the first enlisted airborne paratrooper. This day is now celebrated as National Airborne Day.
On August 16th, 2000 the doors opened to the Airborne & Special Operation Museum on the 60th anniversary of the original Test Platoon’s first parachute jump.
Join us August 19th to honor National Airborne Day and the 17th Anniversary of our opening!
The event will include static displays of XVIII Airborne Corps and US Army Special Operations equipment, mock door demonstrations, a performance by the 82nd Airborne Division "All American" Rock Band and "All American Chorus", opportunities to try on parachute, and a Halo demonstration by US Army Golden Knights and the USASOC Black Daggers!