Commentary, Military Postcards

Gory, Gory, what a Hell of a… National Airborne Day

Curtiss : C-46 : Commando

In honor of National Airborne Day, here’s a bit of dark paratrooper humor.

Presumably intended to instill proper respect for the grim dangers of jump school, Blood on the Risers has been sung by U.S. Army Airborne trainees since WWII and follows the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Have a listen.

Blood on the Risers

He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright,

He checked all his equipment and made sure his pack was tight;

He had to sit and listen to those awful engines roar,

“You ain’t gonna jump no more!”

(CHORUS)

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,

Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,

He ain’t gonna jump no more!

“Is everybody happy?” cried the Sergeant looking up,

Our Hero feebly answered “Yes,” and then they stood him up;

He jumped into the icy blast, his static line unhooked,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

He counted long, he counted loud, he waited for the shock,

He felt the wind, he felt the cold, he felt the awful drop,

The silk from his reserves spilled out, and wrapped around his legs,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

The risers swung around his neck, connectors cracked his dome,

Suspension lines were tied in knots around his skinny bones;

The canopy became his shroud; he hurtled to the ground.

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

The days he’d lived and loved and laughed kept running through his mind,

He thought about the girl back home, the one he’d left behind;

He thought about the medic corps, and wondered what they’d find,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

The ambulance was on the spot, the jeeps were running wild,

The medics jumped and screamed with glee, they rolled their sleeves and smiled,

For it had been a week or more since last a ‘Chute had failed,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

He hit the ground, the sound was “SPLAT”, his blood went spurting high;

His comrades, they were heard to say “A HELL OF A WAY TO DIE!”

He lay there, rolling ’round in the welter of his gore,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)

(slowly, solemnly; about half the speed of the other verses)

There was blood upon the risers, there were brains upon the chute,

Intestines were a-dangling from his paratroopers suit,

He was a mess, they picked him up, and poured him from his boots,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more.

(CHORUS)


Paratrooper Comic Post Cards

1943 Postcard image - Jefferson Bks Missouri lg

Using humor to make a point seems to be a vital part of the paratrooper ethos. Prime example: this paratrooper comic card sent in 1943 from Missouri to Tennessee.

Stay tuned for more World War II soldiers’ mail on this blog in the coming months. Happy National Airborne Day: hug your favorite paratrooper. For me that would be 3 people: my mom, dad, and hubby.

2 thoughts on “Gory, Gory, what a Hell of a… National Airborne Day”

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