Have a media request? Contact the Metro Communications Department at 314-486-5553.
February 22, 2012

Historic Parachute Jump Commemorated on 100th Anniversary

Dianne Williams
Director of Communications

On March 1, 1912, St. Louis jumped into the history books when Army Captain Albert Berry became the first person with a parachute to successfully jump from a plane. It took place above the Jefferson Barracks Military Post in South St. Louis County and the 100th anniversary of that daring jump will be commemorated next month with a parachute jump at the Jefferson Barracks Army Depot. Berry jumped at 1,500 feet from a Benoist “Pusher” biplane, designed by Thomas Benoist and flown by pilot Tony Jannus. The public and media are invited to attend.

When: Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 1 p.m.

Where: Jefferson Barracks Army Depot, Joint Armed Forces Reserve Center (Building

What: Ceremony and parachute jump to mark the 100th Anniversary of Berry’s
historic accomplishment

Who: Hosted by the Jefferson Barracks Heritage Foundation along with the
Missouri National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve

Speakers: Air Guard Col. David Newman, Jefferson Barracks base commander
St. Louis County Executive Charles Dooley
U.S. Representative Russ Carnahan
Art Schuermann, Jefferson Barracks Preservation Office
Charles E. Benoist from Bonne Terre, Missouri, nephew of Thomas Benoist

Parachutist: Master Parachutist Lewis Sanborn of Imperial, Missouri will make the jump,
weather permitting. He has made more than 7,300 parachute jumps to his

Master parachutist Lewis Sanborn will be flying out of St. Louis Downtown Airport for the commemorative jump. Sanborn will be available for media interviews on March 1 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Airport Fire Station training room. The St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Station is located at 6100 Archview Drive in Cahokia, Illinois. Please call Airport Director Bob McDaniel at 618-337-6060 to schedule an interview with Lewis Sanborn.

For the event, the public may enter the Jefferson Barracks Army Depot through the west gate on Sherman Road. **Media must be escorted onto the base by contacting Bill Phelan at
314-556-6639 or by e-mail [email protected].  

Metro owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and the surrounding business park. St. Louis Downtown Airport is the third busiest airport in the State of Illinois and the second busiest in the St. Louis region. The primary runway was recently reconstructed so it could handle larger aircraft like the Airbus 320, the Boeing 757, and the McDonnell-Douglas MD-80, which are popular with professional sports teams.

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