Captain Albert Berry – One of the world’s first parachutists lands in St. Louis

On March 1, 1912, U.S. Army Captain Albert Berry climbed into a Benoist pusher-type airplane piloted by Tony Jannus. At their feet, was an odd, cone-shaped contraption with a 11 meters diameter parachute packed inside. They took off from Kinloch Field, and Jannus climbed to 1,500 feet. According to author Gene Eric Salecker, “As the plane neared Jefferson Barracks Army Base…Berry looked down and spotted an insane asylum. ‘That’s where we both belong,’ he told Jannus.”

Jefferson Barracks Military Post, the location where Captain Albert Berry landed with his parachute

When Berry dropped from the plane his weight pulled the parachute from the canister. Rather than being attached to the parachute by a harness Berry was seated on a trapeze bar. According to Berry he dropped 400 feet before the parachute opened, and landed successfully at Jefferson Barracks.

Captain Albert Berry, is the son of balloonist John Berry, he is one of two people credited as the first person to make a successful parachute jump from a powered airplane. The other contender is Grant Morton, who is reported to have jumped from a Wright Model B flying over Venice Beach, California.

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