U.S. Army Airborne units will pay tribute to a dramatic and historic “skyfall” later this week in Jefferson Barracks.

To commemorate the 101st anniversary of the first parachute jump from an airplane on March 1, 1912, five U.S. Army Airborne units will pay tribute later this week to what established a military capability that played an important role in helping secure freedom in the world.

Public Information Officer and member of the 101st airborne unit, Barry Hana says he hopes that those who watch the anniversary leap will see the importance in Friday’s event. 

“We feel like anyone who visits Jefferson Barracks, and that number of folks is increasing each summer especially when the weather is good, they will see the history of this event,” he said. “And they’re going to understand it’s importance to the formation of the five airborne army units that since World War II have become very famous and have contributed greatly to our country’s military history and to the freedom we enjoy.”

Hana says the concept of having a commemorative began a year ago. “The Jefferson Barracks foundation office and the foundation there that raises money to record the history of Jefferson Barracks which goes back to the Civil War,” he said. “Those two groups looked into the history books and found out that the first airborne jump- the first parachute jump in the country was done at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. ” He says that’s highly unusual because there are other other places today that airborne units stationed there.

To commemorate the anniversary, 83-year old military veteran, Lewis Sanborn who is a Master Parachutist and veteran of the 82nd Airborne unit will take the plunge, parachuting on to the grounds later this week. Hana says he’s unsure if the commemorative event will happen every year following this year’s.



AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:00)