William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

PARACHUTE WINGS

Parachute wings are just not given
Many soldiers fail the test
Parachute wings are only earned
By soldiers who are the best

We formed the AIRBORNE Regiment
Back in nineteen hundred and sixty eight
900 of us, we all marched in
through the Griesbach Barracks gate

Bill Batt hung up in the Shilo high tower
‘Cause the Corporal JI[1] had all the power
‘Twas coffee break for us jump training guys
Whilst Major Batt hung in the tower sky

Bill Batt jumped on green light, “Go”
And one month later he was my CO
The issue of my maroon Beret
Had to be my proudest day

I am pleased with my medals, my badges and things
But was proudest when pinned with my AIRBORNE wings
Midst mosquitoes in rivers on that early summer day
When my stick became AIRBORNE, all the way!

Canadian Airborne Regiment Jump Wings
Canadian Airborne Regiment Jump Wings

PARATROOPER SONG

Verse 1:

“Is everybody happy?” cried the sergeant looking up.
Our hero feebly answered “Yes” and then they stood him up
He dove into the prop blast his static line unhooked
And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

Chorus:

Glory, glory what a helluva way to die,
Glory, glory what a helluva way to die,
Glory, glory what a helluva way to die,
And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

Verse 2:

He counted long, he counted slow: he waited for the shock
He felt the wind, he saw the clouds, he felt the awful drop.
He jerked the cord the silk spilled out and wrapped around his leg
And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

Chorus:

Verse 3:

His lines were twisted round his neck; connectors broke his dome [?]
His risers twisted into knots around each tired bone
His canopy became a shroud, as he hurtled to the ground
And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

Chorus:

Verse 4:

The day he loved and lived and laughed, kept running through his mind
He thought about the medics and wondered what they’d find
He thought about the girl back home, the one he’d left behind
And he ain’t gonna jump no more

Chorus:

Verse 5:

The ambulance tore round the field, the jeeps were running wild
The medics they did dance with glee rolled up their sleeves and smiled
For it had been a week or more since a paratrooper died
And he ain’t gonna jump no more

Chorus:

Verse 6:

There was blood upon his risers
There was blood upon his chute
There was blood a-tricklin down from off the paratrooper’s boot
And he ain’t gonna jump no more

Chorus:

Verse 7:

He met the ground, the sound was flat the blood went gushing high
His comrades were heard to say, “What a helluva way to die!”
They picked him up still in his chute, then poured him from his boots
He lay there dying in the welter of his gore
And he ain’t gonna jump no more

Chorus:

Paratroopers Song and information is courtesy of the Website of Colin Macgregor Stevens of British Columbia, Canada

COMMENTS: The chorus was not on the original letter, but is well known. Some people now like to substitute the word ‘Gory’ for ‘Glory’. The words of the verses have changed over the years, but this is a W.W. II version.

The reference to “pulling the cord” refers to the reserve parachute release on the American T-5 parachute that they trained with at Fort Benning, Georgia and at Camp Shilo, Manitoba. In England and in battle they used the British ‘X’ type parachute, which did not have a reserve chute.

The 6th Verse (shown in italics) was supplied by Pte Mal Aplin, B Coy, 1 Can Para Bn (WWII) in 2001 January “I would like to add a verse to the “Paratrooper Song” you have shown on the site. The following words were sung by us in Bulford England and I believe they were just before the last chorus shown.”

Canadian Airborne Regiment Badge and current “Silver Wings” Parachute Wings

Canadian Airborne Regiment Badge and current “Silver Wings” Parachute Wings
Canadian Airborne Regiment Badge and current “Silver Wings” Parachute Wings