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Raymond - Jackson Skydivers

Submitted by Noel Funchess A-188

The Jackson (MS) Skydivers operated ca. 1962-1969 out of the John Bell Williams airport near Raymond, MS just Southwest of Jackson MS.

The Mississippi State University Skydivers listed as located in Raymond, MS began in 1959 as the Mississippi State Parachute Club (the term "Skydiving" had not yet gained broad acceptance) and jumped at Camp's Airport, (with grass runways) just North of Highway 82 between MSU and the "crossroads". First jump aircraft were Aeronca two seaters which meant that jumpmasters for students had to also be a private pilot in order to do the spotting. Camp's Airport had been a WWII training field for glider pilots which meant it had a parachute loft complete with a packing table and drying tower. First jumps landed off the field in a nearby pasture as the owner Sumpter Camp would not close the field, (as then required by the MS FAA office), since he had a booming business training ROTC pilots for their private licenses. First jump students had to be trained first to pack since there was no licensed rigger available at the time. I graduated in '62 and someone else will have to carry the tale on to the later relocation to West Point, MS.