First Jump from Dreaded Balloon

First jump from Bessie at Ringway 1945

By Bill Watts

Bessie the Ringway 1945
Bill Watts

As a member of the Parachute Regiment I did my Parachute Training in 1945 at Ringway, Manchester, home to No.1 Parachute Training School.

I am now 88 but still run a website, 

which I built in 2002 in the hope of tracing some of my old army pals who served with me in Palestine during the period 1945-48.

Since then I have traced over 60 members of the battalion reuniting most of them with old friends they hadn’t seen since 1948.

If you visit my website, which contains several pages on the birth of military parachuting in the UK, don’t miss the humorous rhyme, set to music, which I wrote after my very first balloon jump. Just click on “FIRST JUMP FROM THE DREADED BALLOON”

Please email me :- wattie_para @ntlworld .com

Bill WEatts




This page was added on 26/10/2014.

Add your comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.

  • I’ve just come across this page after finding in an old bureau pictures of my father James ( Jim) Bristow who was a paratrooper in Palestine and Egypt in the early 40’s. Bill watts name was under every picture ..picture of four army men my dad sitting in front fag in hand..also one of him playing the bugle in khaki with white belt..
    Wondered if there was anyone still with memories of him? Dad died in 2003 of mesothelioma so nearly 20 years ago..

    By Kathleen Nye ( Bristow) (08/09/2022)