It was whilst I was awaiting my next posting that an army parachute regiment was carrying out training on the base. I heard some talk about a Sergeant Major who was close to his release date but was refusing to jump. This was a Courts Martial offense and he could have ended up losing everything he had strived for during his service. Before dinner that evening I suggested that I was willing to go on the next morning's jump and that he should jump with me. It was agreed that I should meet with him the next morning and get fitted up with a 'chute and then go out on the first drop along with an RAF jump instructor. We had it set up so that the offending Sgt. Major would go out first, followed by myself and the RAF jump instructor.
Unfortunately, Wing Commander Dickson (who was my boss at the time) heard me making the arrangements and ordered me not to go. I saw Group Captain Day across the room talking to another bunch of chaps, so I went straight up to him and told him of the Courts Martial threat. He replied - "I can't give you permission, but if you really want to, then carry on and I'll see to it that you will not get court martialled". "In fact, I'll think all the more of you, but don't for God's sake get injured or killed or I'll end up being the one who's Court Martialled"!
Although I had to finally push the Sgt. Major out of the aeroplane when the time came, it all went well and I landed safely about ten yards from the RAF instructor. He had been wearing my peaked cap on the way down (I had been using a crash helmet), and after we landed he threw it to me. However, Wing Commander Dickson saw me land and I won't say here what he called me! As I walked in, "Wings" Day was also waiting for me. He just said, "Did you enjoy it? Jolly good show"!
The paratroop Sgt. Major got away with a caution and took his release shortly after.
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