Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ocracoke The Place To Train Parachutists

 Below is an interesting proposal, as printed in The Beaufort News, August 21, 1941:

"Perhaps we are the first to ever give the idea a thought and probably what helped was the announcement that a few more millions would be spent in creating certain facilities down in Onslow County for the training of 'parachute troops.' Our idea is this and we pass it on to Representative Herbert Bonner of the First District, who in turn, we hope, will lay the plan before the authorities that have to do with providing facilities for training modern day parachute troops. Our opinion is – that of all the places in America, there is no better place to train fledgling parachute jumpers than on the mile wide, five-mile long open stretch of beach land adjacent to Ocracoke village. The first and last parachutist we have ever seen in action was bailing out of a plane flying over that beach. His name was 'Tommy,' ...[and he] told the editor that it was easier and more comfortable to bail out of a plane over Ocracoke Beach than any other place he had ever tried. The landing, so he told the editor, was just like landing on a feather bed. That is because the beach, while solid enough to land any type of plane, has a two or three inch crust of soft sand on top. Unless there was a gale blowing, a rank amateur could bail out over Ocracoke Beach and make a perfect landing with a parachute. We wonder if the Government would not investigate this idea, with the thought in view that they have, if they want it, a first rate training center for fledgling parachutists on Ocracoke --- already developed."

US Air Force Image

Although we don't see many parachutists at Ocracoke nowadays, we do see Ospreys now and then.

Photo by FOX 52

These amazing vehicles, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing, and short takeoff and landing capabilities, sometimes practice at the Ocracoke airstrip.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke Lodge No. 194, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. You can read the Newsletter here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/island-inn-lodge-no-194-independent-order-odd-fellows/

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