Bill Coady recalls time with parachute troop

By November 7, 2018Remember

Bill Coady models a tam in a maroon colour that was worn by parachutists in the military. (Goodwin photo)


WESTVILLE — A chance visit to the Pictou County Military Museum got William Coady reminiscing about his time in military service.

Coady served with the Royal Canadian Regiment’s First Battalion in the medical corps and also underwent parachute training during the 1950s and 1960s.

“The funny thing about it was I was scared of heights,” he said.

Coady entered military service in January 1954 and remained in the force for more than 10 years, including five years with his fellow Canadians in Germany. His parachute training coincided with his time as a medic and parachuting with other medics.

He said he might have stayed in the military longer if he was not away so much. In one period of six years, he was in Canada just one year.

Coady was able to appreciate the artifacts, weaponry and equipment on display at the museum and took particular interest in the mannequin clothed in a parachutist’s uniform, complete with the chute in a back pack and the harness personnel negotiated as they leaped from the airplane.

He also admired a .303 rifle that he used and recalled as being popular in the military for its reliability. The rifle never failed to fire and took five-shot rapid fire rounds contained in cartridges that loaded and unloaded easily as each one was spent.

Coady has several items among those on display at the museum. His devotion to the museum goes back to when it was in New Glasgow, before it moved into its present location in the town’s former civic building.

“It’s one of the best museums I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It covers everything — air force, navy, army.”

Bill Coady admires a painting by local artist Dan Munro of a troop carrier.
(Goodwin photo)

Bill Coady grabs the pull handle that was part of a parachutist’s equipment. (Goodwin photo)

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