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Posted on Oct 13, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Market Garden Commemorative Jump 2007

By Martin Fielden

I got 2nd stick 7th out and quickly wrote this on my hand so I didn’t forget, didn’t want the wrath of the jumpmaster at me. There were 30 jumpers in 2 sticks of 15 which included Dave Mote who is 74 years young, and 3 women. Outside the briefing we found out who was in front of us and behind all joking nervously.

At 10:00 smart we start kitting up, we all helped each other to get the kit on properly and started checking each other to make sure it was properly set, leg straps really tight, all clips stowed properly etc. Looking around the faces I could see the nervousness showing and my mouth was bone dry again.

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Looking up the plane – nervous faces.  Red on…..Green on….GO!

After a last check we walked in line to the DC3, a small crowd had gathered just to watch her take off. We loaded up in reverse order and squeezed in facing the tail end, I got a window view to my left and the open door to my right.

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We sat and we waited until it was time to go. The port engine spluttered into life , it coughed and spluttered then revved and choked into life just like a 65 year old engine should. The starboard engine followed and excitement built , both engines were revved up and down then balanced, we taxied away from the terminal building and I waved to the people watching, I could still mange to wave with all the nerves. We taxied to the main taxiway and the engines were revved up hard and dropped to tick over several times, I was thinking we would never set off and then we started rolling to the runway.

The engines were revved hard and sounded so sweet, the brakes were off then the clapping rendition started as we got faster & faster, the chant became ‘Up. Up Up!’ and we were on our way.

We soared upwards and through the open door I could see the Dutch countryside whizzing by. Throughout the 30 minute flight feelings ranging from 100% fear and excitement to being completely at peace flowed over me.

As we closed in on Ginkle Heath we heard that 4 Para have been delayed because of cloud, I could only see cloud through the door too.

The first stick were told ‘Stand up’ ,‘Hook up’, ‘Equipment check’, ’15 Ok’ ‘14 Ok’, ’13 OK’…..’2 OK’ , ‘1 OK – Port stick ready’, Ian was in the 1st stick. We circled round and it felt like ages, every so often we got a glimpse of the heath and the thousands of people waiting to see us. We circled at least 6 times and it was looking like it might be called off, we were at 800 feet and then the jumpmaster called ‘Action stations’ and the stick disappeared out of the door one by one, I saw Ian’s boots go by, then they were all out.

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5 Comments

  1. Lovely, never seen this before! Found it almost 6yrs after this jump!
    I’m the F.A.N.Y.!

    • Well written articles like yours renews my faith in todâaâ€y„¢s writers. You’ve written info I can lastly agree on and use. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks to Monica I also found this site with pictures and stories….
    I was no. 13 – first stick who jumped that year, together with Monica…..it was my first time jumping from a C47 and first time jumping Ginkel Heath….
    Now at this moment I jumped the C47 many times with lots of commemoration jumps on several original DZ’s in Holland and Normandy.
    This year I will join and jump the Market Garden 2013 event again :-)

    Airborne – all the way

    Blue skies,
    JumpingMM

  3. And I was no. 4, first stick!

  4. Short, sweet, to the point, FRE-eExactly as information should be!

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