LCpl. Henderson Goes AWOL
Then Jumps Out of DC-3

The individual on the right was my gunner LCpl. Larry R. Henderson fooling around on the flight line with LCpl. James D. "DaNang" Didier.

Photo by, Cpl. Warren R. Smith
LCpl. Henderson was good friends with a number of the Army Special Forces troops across the field from us. One morning he said he needed to have me cover for him because he going to jump out of an airplane.  Larry was always kidding about one thing or another so I didn't think much about it.  About 2 hours later he was back and said he did it. Larry had jumped out of a DC-3 with one of his Special Forces buddies and some South Vietnamese paratroopers. He was wondering if anyone had come looking for him while he was away.

It seems as they were loading up down at the Air Force side some of our officers were there for a ceremony.  He said he had his chute on and was walking in a line of the South Vietnamese paratroopers when he saw our officers.  Even the short Henderson generally towered over our Vietnamese allies.  He said he tried to make himself as small and short as he could, but was having trouble bending over walking with his knees bent with the chute on.  He felt like a large wounded duck and thought everyone must have been seen him.  He had not had any practice and ask his buddy what would happen if he froze at the door.  He was told the Special Forces guy would be right behind him and one way or another he would be making the jump.

He made the jump, landed in a large field with the others, and got back to our flight line no worse for the experience.  I guess if he had broken his legs we could have said he fell off the transmission deck of a UH-34.

The aircraft that LCpl. Henderson made his first jump from.

Photo by, Cpl. Warren R. Smith

Below is another picture of my trusted gunner and 1st mech. LCpl. Larry Henderson.  With all of Larry's friends in the Army Special Forces, I always knew if we went down they would come to get us in force.

Photo by, Cpl. Warren R. Smith
Submitted by:
    Warren R. Smith, former Cpl. USMC

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