FORT BENNING, Ga. -- To celebrate National Airborne Day, the 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, worked closely with the Liberty Jump Team to drop onto Fryar Drop Zone and to hold a commemorative ceremony Aug. 16 on the Alabama side of Fort Benning, Georgia.

The parachutists, celebrating 78 years of paratrooper history, dressed in period uniform and jumped from a Douglas C-47 Skytrain onto the drop zone.

National Airborne Day is the anniversary of the first test of a paratrooper drop by the Army Aug. 16, 1940, according to a 2001 presidential proclamation, onto Lawson Army Airfield (then called Lawson Field). Lt. (later Col.) William T. Ryder and Lt. (later Lt. Col.) James A. Bassett led the Airborne Test Platoon of 48 enlisted Infantry Soldiers. From a Douglas C-33 aircraft, Ryder made the first jump, and Pvt. William N. "Red" King was the first enlisted Soldier to jump.

"Today is really not about getting the badge, it's not about putting those paratrooper wings on, it's about the bond of the maroon beret," said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Tracy Huff, member of the Liberty Jump Team. "It's about the bond of the paratroopers from every country, from every timeframe with a common theme.

"It's really to remember and reflect on those great men from our past," continued Huff.

As part of the celebration of the Airborne tradition, Soldiers of the 1-507th and members of the Liberty Jump Team also visited retired Maj. Lubert Wing at his home in Phenix City, Alabama, Aug. 15. Wing, 93, is a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. During World War II, he fought in the Ardennes region during the Battle of the Bulge, and he jumped into Germany as part of Operation Varsity. The Army commissioned him in 1952, and he retired from active duty as a major in 1965. Until the age of 75, he was a helicopter pilot instructor.

The envoy of the 1-507th and Liberty Jump Team presented Wing with a plaque celebrating his service and accomplishments, a pendant, an Airborne patch and an Airborne pin.

To learn more about the 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, visit

To see more photos from the event at Fryar Drop Zone, visit

To see more photos from the visit to retired Maj. Lubert Wing, visit