U.S. ARMY / Airborne
Read to the bottom this one is epic! Mike Holmstock graced us with a chance to interview him. I do not think you will be disappointed!
Name: Morris (Mike) Holmstock
Branch of Military: Army
September of 1942
Division 82 airborne
Company 1st battalion of company B
Years in Service: 4
Number of operational jumps: 1 Holland ( Market Garden )
5 training jumps
England, Holland, Belgium,Germany and France
Home DZ: skydive sebastian
Practice Jump 1942
What inspired you to join the military?
“I was 20 years old, who has the smarts at 20 we were just kids. The oldest guy in the company was Tappy Gram he was 35. Just felt like the thing to do, everyone I knew signed up. You think your a man but in reality you're just an overgrown boy.”
Paratrooper? Tell me why you decided jump into action.
“Ha they had a poster on the wall of a paratrooper. All I could think was hey that's gotta be me. Hey sounded exciting. I knew right then it had to me me! The war was on and I was going to get me part of it, and oh Boy i got some.”
Every time you jump into the enemy's territory you're surrounded…. Whats that like ?
“Well, when we jumped in Holland on sep 17th we were 30 miles behind enemy lines. At the time it just did not occur to me that we were sourned. You might just say that ignorance is bliss. The truth is that's what we were trained to do - and hey that's what we did.”
What is your most memorable moment jumping into action?
“ I Guess the most memorable moment of my carrier was in Belgium ( the Battle of the bulge )
That is where we faced off with The 1st SS Panzer / Grenadiers / this took place on the 20th of December. The Day before the 19th of December the SS committed a massacre in Malmedy the Germans rounded up 100 Gi’s and in a moment of infamy shot all of the soldiers.
B and C company a total of 240 men faced off with the SS the next day in a moment of revenge fighting all night and into the morning there were only 18 US paratroopers remaining. Needless to say there were no more Germans.
I can remember the next morning. Thinking that we did our jobs we were soldiers.
What is your most feared moment?
“On the 20th of December, I encountered a barb wire fence - for some reason I decided to crawl under the fence. At that moment the Germans were lined up at a farm house. To this day I could not tell you how many were there. At that very moment I started to go under the fence the SS opened up and began to fire. I Was like a piece of paper on the ground frozen with fear. Round after round were only inches over my head. Reaching deep I lobbed a grenade and moved forward. Somehow I was able to make it to the house. Hearing Knobby Walsh a good buddy of mine calling for help inspired me to get up and go. I remember not wanting to get wet laying on the ground ( it was very cold out ). Well at that moment a German Half track started to back out and Dam I had to hit the ground and get wet while firing at the half track. I remember the german firing his gun around 30 yards away, he could see my muzzle flash and dam he Turning his Gun at me and firing only a few feet from me. A min later I had the taste of iron in my mouth- I had been hit by a small piece of shrapnel. After been patched up at the aid station I got right back into the fight.
The next morning while smoking a lucky strike my buddy came over and joined me. Looking over I asked him hey why are you shaking, he chuckled and said because your shaking too.”
You were at the battle of the bulge, tell me in a few words what that was like?
“Hmm it was COLD!!! That's what I remember. We fought from December to through January, Until we hit the Siegfried line. I came off patrol in late January and thinking i would be joining the fight again only to be shocked and filled with joy to find out i had a 3 day pass to Paris."
You sir are part of what we call the greatest generation. What do you have to say about that?
“That's what you say but I don't agree with ya. We had a job to do and hey we did it. Our job was to defeat evil and we did it. Your generation have a different set of problems and you will have to clean your problems up just like we did.”
If you could give one piece of advice to a younger generations what would it be?
“Iv had so many experiences in my life. The only thing i would say is do what you have to do - take what comes.”
What goes through your mind when someone calls you a Hero?
“I'm not a hero. Heroes are buried. I'm not a hero I did what i had to do and I was lucky.
I see that you just went for a tandem jump. How was it?
“That was because of my Sons big mouth.. He said what are you a chicken. Ha .. To prove him wrong I made two jumps. I never liked going out the door, it scared me. Combat or no combat if the guy in front was going i went. No one calls me a chicken!!!!”
Having heard his fathers tales over the years, Mike's youngest son, Jeff, was inspired to take up skydiving. The way my father always talked about parachuting, I just knew one day I had to jump out of an airplane, Jeff said. After my first tandem, I was hooked and "jumped" into the sport. Calling Sebastian and Skydive Sebastian his home, Jeff now markets and coordinates skydiving events and also provides specialty jump aircraft's like Huey's, biplanes, Casas, balloons and Blackhawks for skydiving events, not just for his home dz, but also for other dropzones across the state. Jeff's close relationship with his father also inspired one of the largest charity boogies in the country, Splash Bash, an annual boogie in July at Skydive Sebastian, raising awareness and funds for the American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization.
Blood upon the risers
Here at Pussfoot we appreciate members of the armed forces. Many members of the skydive community are either active service members or veterans and we thought it would be great to honor them here on our page. We will be bringing you a bio every week of our featured "Freedom Flyers" with hopes that you learn something new and share in our appreciation of what these people do for our country.
If you are a military skydiver or know someone you feel should be featured on our wall Please Email our team @ Pussfootog@gmail.com