Parachute Jumps In Rhodesia

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,915
Location
Not Afghanistan
Pardus, you ever hear of anything like this? Stolen from http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/for...view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

It's LALO rather than HALO, but a Rhodesian I once worked with told me of a brother whose unit jumped static line with no reserve. They exited from 500 ft so they didn't need one.

I asked him if they had a belly or back mount container but he didn't know.

They were a unit of the Selous Scouts and 3 or 4 four man teams would be put out quickly along a line and set up counter ambushes.

They didn't use rucksacks but wore a vest sort of like a photographers vest. I got one of the vests and a pair of boots of the same type they wore. The vest ragged out but the boots are still fine. They are made of buffalo hide with antelope skin rolls and tounge and lining. The sole is a steel belted radial tire that is protection against spikes.

Re: static-line jumps during the Rhodesian War.
Four man teams from the Rhodesian Light Infantry often 3 or 4 combat jumps per day from DC-3/C-47 Dakotas.
They would jump ahead of fleeing "terrs" to lay stopper ambushes. Once the terrs were dead, the 4 man teams were helicoptered back to base to prepare for their next mission.
The regimental history of the RLI shows them kitted-up with motorcycle helmets, vest webbing, FN rifles and back-mounted static-line parachutes, but not reserves. Their main canopies were a mixture of T-10s and similar French canopies. Most of their jumps were planned from 500 feet, far too low for reserves to be of any use! A few times pilots mis-read rising terrain and dropped them from 300 feet!
They were tough young men!
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
Yep all sounds accurate to me, except the boots... Not sure about them, sounds a little dodgy, but all the rest yes, I know a few guys who were doing that.

Weapons were open carry strapped to the leg, who wants the 240? ouch.

I know of up to 3 combat jumps a day off the top of my head.

The Selous Scouts didnt generally do the para drop to act as cut offs/ambushs etc... they were normally intel gathering, setting things up for the RLI, RAR etc... to drop and do the killing.

The SAS at least were doing HALO as well.

I know the Germans during WW2 and Brit paras in modern times have/were jumping as low as 250 ft
 
B

Boondocksaint375

Guest
250? I couldnt imagine that shit. Our Astan jump was at 500 and I wasn't expecting to hit the ground when I did.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
Yours was at night though right?

I think the 250's were all day jumps, hence the height.
 
B

Boondocksaint375

Guest
yeah, I think I jumped twice in the daytime while I was in (not counting airborne school)
 
R

Rhodesian Militaria

Guest
I would like to reply to some of the above posts in regard to parachuting in Rhodesia. I have never parachuted and I never served in Rhodesia. I am writing a book on the history of the Rhodesian Parachute Training School 1961-80 and I know a number of former PJI's who served in Rhodesia, including two of the original members.

I believe there were some "unemployed" US special forces guys that were involved in some of the HALO stuff in Rhodesia both with there paras and and Selous scouts......their names escape me at the moment, but they probably wouldn’t want them mentioned anyhow!
There were no "unemployed" US SF blokes involved with the security forces, they were gainfully employed, just like they were from any other country. All parachuting was instructed by PJI's at No.1 Parachute Training School, New Sarum, Rhodesia. Some of the security forces were qualified as parachutists at Bloemfontein, South Africa when the Rhodesians couldn't handle the numbers.
Re: static-line jumps during the Rhodesian War.
Four man teams from the Rhodesian Light Infantry often 3 or 4 combat jumps per day from DC-3/C-47 Dakotas.
I don't know of any RLI four man teams that jumped, sticks were generally bigger than that starting from 10-12 upwards.
A few times pilots mis-read rising terrain and dropped them from 300 feet!
They were tough young men!
No doubt they were tough but the above statement is incorrect. There was one known mistake by a Dak pilot to where the stick was dropped at 350 feet. There were no fatalities but a number of serious injuries. Static drops ranged from 450 feet minimum above, with the standard being approximately 500 feet. This had been done by the British for a lot of years, but it was thought it couldn't be done in Rhodesia due to the height above sea level. The PJI's proved them wrong.
Had a friend in the RLI and he said that a guy he knew made 4 combat jumps in a single day doing the ambush thing. Most airborne don't make 4 combat jumps in a career. He also said that they had a couple fatalities from the rising DZ and the last couple guys in the stick impacted before line stretch.
There is no record of anyone doing four combat jumps in one day. There are at least two instances of some members of the RLI doing three jumps into contacts in one day, but this is rare. As for the fatalities mentioned above, this is incorrect. There were two deaths from military parachuting in Rhodesia that I know of; one was a soldier in the RAR (Rhodesian African Rifles) and the other was of an SAS soldier doing a HALO into Mozambique where the chutes failed to open. There were more parachute descents by the Rhodesian Security Forces during the 'Bush War' than by any other military in history, yet the injury rate remained below 0.7%.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,915
Location
Not Afghanistan
I've seen a chart on T-10C failure rates at varying heights but I can't find it now. Searching FM 57-220 was of no help. Anyway, I recall a 75% success rate @ 200' with the T-10C. Past 250' was in the mid to high 90's. The new low level chutes are supposed to allow you to exit at 250-300'.

There was a drop in the Pacific during WWII from ~175'. I do not recall the casualty rate.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
There was a drop in the Pacific during WWII from ~175'. I do not recall the casualty rate.

Wow, you could just jump without a cute at that height! :eek:

That would be amazing. What chutes did they jump with. I believe the US T-10 takes about 250 feet to fully open!

I could ask, I dont know what cutes they used.

Pgarret prob does though....
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,915
Location
Not Afghanistan
Doing some digging I may be thinking of the jump into Nadzab which was at 250'...but I swear there was one lower than that, maybe a practice jump before that operation. My Google skills must be off tonight since I can't find it.
 
I

irnbndr

Guest
That would be amazing. What chutes did they jump with. I believe the US T-10 takes about 250 feet to fully open!

I believe that most static line canopies open around that hieght, some a little less. But 200 ft. AGL? I don't think so.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
Doing some digging I may be thinking of the jump into Nadzab which was at 250'...but I swear there was one lower than that, maybe a practice jump before that operation. My Google skills must be off tonight since I can't find it.

I wonder how low the 82nd was dropped in Sicily when they lost those guys in the jump there, there must have been some very low jumps, fatal as they were.
 
R

Rhodesian Militaria

Guest
Are you sure about that height? I heard that drop was at 200ft.
I know that video and I know what has been said, but I will find out and clarify it. I am led to believe that it was not that low. The PJI's knew what heights the paratroopers were dropped at, because they had the final say of whether the jump went ahead. Will get back to you on it.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
I know that video and I know what has been said, but I will find out and clarify it. I am led to believe that it was not that low. The PJI's knew what heights the paratroopers were dropped at, because they had the final say of whether the jump went ahead. Will get back to you on it.

That would be awesome, thanks.
 
R

Rhodesian Militaria

Guest
One of the types of chutes used was the South African SAVIAC, I think Mk1 amd Mk2.
 

car

Old NCO (Ret)
Rest In Peace
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
2,403
Location
In Transit
--- There was a quote here, but it was the wrong one. Following sentence was directed at Boon. Apologies. ---

Your boyz jumped into Point Salines, Grenada, from 500 ft.

Are you sure about that height? I heard that drop was at 200ft.

http://www.shadowspear.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10082

Anything below 200 ft. makes it damned difficult to recover from any kind of malfunction - look up to make sure you've got a canopy above your head, then land.

'Course, it's been a few years since I threw anybody out of an airplane. :uhh:
 
Top