At the outbreak of World War Two, the world had not seen an attack carried out by airborne troops. The war was less than a year old when airborne warfare started with the German attack on the Belgian Fortress of Eben-Emael and a mass drop of their 7th Flieger Division in the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Because of these landings, and although the drop in Holland didn’t go well at all places, the War Department in Washington decided to experiment with paratroops.
On June 25, 1940, just weeks after the German airborne operations in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Commandant of the Infantry School at Fort Benning received orders to form a Test Platoon. The platoon was composed of 48 enlisted men and two lieutenants who had been selected out of a group of over 200 volunteers of the 29th Infantry Regiment. With no more than twenty-one parachutists, Warrant Officer Wilson and four riggers, the group started their training in an old iron hangar at Lawson Field, Fort Benning.
I’ll just sit here in my comfy chair and let you lunatics celebrate.