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Memorial scheduled for massive 1943 parachute jump

Posted: March 24, 2015 6:30 p.m.
Updated: March 25, 2015 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

An historic Kershaw County event will be remembered with a special remembrance at 2 p.m. Sunday.

On March 29, 1943, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted a training exercise involving more than 1,000 soldiers who parachuted into the area where INVISTA now sits, adjacent to the Wateree River in Lugoff. The exercise marked the first regimental parachute jump in U.S. Army history and was done in preparation of a planned invasion of the Italian island of Sicily, which happened three months later on July 9, 1943. The Army declared the maneuver a success, according to the April 9, 1943, issue of “Static Line,” Fort Bragg’s base newspaper. However, tragedy marred the exercise when three of the jumpers were struck by a wave of planes that came behind them at a lower altitude.

A monument to that event and others now stands next to INVISTA’S walking trail just off U.S. 1. That is the site for Sunday’s tribute to that day, on the 72nd anniversary of the massive jump. Various groups and individuals are scheduled to appear. A flyover of vintage World War II and late model aircraft is planned. Those who wish to attend are reminded this is an outdoor event and seating -- available to disabled and WWII veterans -- is limited.


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