This is an odd collection of songs composed and sung by he parachutists whilst undergoing
training at Ringway Aerodrome. These songs have been collected together by C.S.M.I. Grant, A.P.T.C., 9th Bn, Parachute
The actual words have been slightly changed in order to suit home consumption, but nevertheless the general idea
is still there. It is as well to give a word of explanation, since some of these phrases may seem rather strange to those
unacquainted with the early life of a parachutist.
At Ringway Aerodrome a potential parachutist was put through a few days ground training, known technically as synthetic training,
during which he was taught the correct way to jump with the aid of numerous pieces of apparatus, which cause various degrees of
flight. This apparatus was housed in one of the large hangers, and had the appearance of an indoor fair ground, but definitely not
quite the same atmosphere. Here they rolled on mats, swung on different types of swings, and prepared for the actual jump and
The first two jumps were from Balloons, similar to a Barrage Balloon with a basket attached thereunder. Usually the morning
for these first two jumps was cold and misty, and during the deathly hush the pupil did his first jump, which he swore was the
best but hoped that he never had another like it. After the balloon jump he then went on to take the actual aircraft jump, which he
said numerous times in the YMCA. and in the bus back to Ringway, was just "a piece of cake"
All the jumps were done on a piece of England very dear to every parachutist and commonly known as Tatton Park. It was from
this park that the tightly packed RAF buses took them back to Ringway. and that is where he learnt and sung the songs as
the bus made it way back to the camp - those songs being sung at the height of every one’s voice and will always be heard
no matter where they go.
Action Stations “ and “Go“ are two commands very well known. The former speaks for itself, and “Go“ will haunt many
parachutists long after their parachuting days are over, Yelled in an unbelievedly loud voice, heard over the roar of the
a engines, and whoop-- he is lying on the slipstream with just another jump to his credit.
"FIRST JUMP FROM THE DREADED BALLOON" is a humorous description, set to music, of Wattie's very first parachute
jump in 1945
If there are any expressions in the songs which you cannot understand just ask a parachutist; he’ll be only too
glad to tell you, but make sure beforehand that you have at least a couple of hours to spare.
Here are the titles and the tunes to which they are sung:-