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Author Topic: How Puddle Jumper got his name  (Read 780 times)

Offline Hunt Master

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How Puddle Jumper got his name
« on: February 13, 2010, 06:23:44 PM »
How Puddle Jumper got his name

Back in 1978 after getting out of the Air Force as a Supply sergeant I got a Civil Service job working at Dare County Bomb and Gunnery Range 45 miles south of Manteo (Lost Colony) NC.  Was hired as their first Supply Clerk, therefore I had to sign for everything including the 43,000 acres that comprised the Air Force and Navy Ranges.  Navy was a tenant on the range.  Settled in and really enjoyed my job.  Closest town was Engelhard which was 20 miles south of the range on the edge of Lake Mattamuskeet.  I was in hunter’s heaven, saw deer on the way to work, at work and out my back door where we lived.  Saw bear, geese, ducks, you name it.

Well being in hunter’s heaven required having a “4 wheel drive”.  I proceeded to the local used car dealer, only car dealer within 50 miles!!!  Got myself a 71 Bronco, what I could afford.  Tires were not that great but what the heck it had “4 wheel drive”!!!  Went up to a tire dealership at Manteo and got 4 brand new mud tires.  Since we had a shop at the range I was going to mount them myself.  On the way back the Navy range entrance was closer, so I decided to cut through there and do some hunting on my way over to the Air Force Range.  Off course I took the back paths as I was hunting.  I got to an open stretch in the path with about what looked to be 30 feet long of water covering it.  Remember I have a 4 wheel drive.  I powered that baby up and hit that area of water and was going to just go right through it!!!  I found out that “4 wheel drives” do not work so good when all 4 tires are spinning in log truck ruts, yes both hog heads were on the center of the rut and 4 tires were looking like wheels on a Mississippi paddle boat, just a throwing water.

After I figured out that forward and reverse were not working I got out and pulled the all fold up shovel out and jumper right into that “river”, I had churned it up so much that I what it now looked like.  I tried for about an hour to dig my 4 wheel drive out.  I finally gave up as light was starting to fade.  I then decided my best course of action was to get help.  I started walking back to the Navy range area.  The shortest course was down one of the flight paths, remember it is getting dark.  A few planes made their passes as I walked, sure am glad that they did not pickle (drop bomb) early,  I got to the control tower and used the phone (no cell phones then) to call a buddy.  He picked me up in his “4 wheel drive” and we then proceed to the disaster area.  We hooked his “4 wheel drive” to my anchor that used to be a moving “4 wheel drive” and he could not pull her out!!!  He had a light duty Dodge.  We then went and got another buddy who had a Jeep CJ, the same fellow who had sold me my “4 wheel drive”.  He hooked up and she came right out.  We all three drove back to my house and had a cold beer to celebrate our victory over the mud hole.

They then pointed out to me that from now on I had a new CB handle.  I asked what???  They then told me that if I was going to keep trying to jump puddles I was going to be Puddle Jumper from now on.  End of this story have more memories to share.

Harold "Puddle Jumper" Hollingsworth
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 11:10:42 AM by Hunt Master »
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