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Is anyone familiar with this Navy Parachute Team? It's a new one to me.

 

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It may be the Navy Test Parachute Unit which became the 'Chuting Stars, now the Leap Frogs

 

In 1961, the U.S. Navy Parachute Exhibition Team, “Chuting Stars” was formed to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. The Parachutists assigned to the original team were selected from the Navy Test Parachute Unit, NAF, El Centro, CA. There success led to permanent status and a move to NAS, Pensacola for the 1962 to 1964 air show seasons. The team was also expanded and included personnel from other ratings. However, midway through the 1964 season, the “Chuting Stars” became the victim of budget cuts and their operation was discontinued.
Two years later, the Chief of Naval Operations authorized a Navy Parachute Team to be based at NATTC, Lakehurst, NJ. A full schedule of demonstration and competition parachuting events were maintained into 1969, when authorization was granted to reactivate the “Chuting Stars” designation as the official U.S. Navy Parachute Team. In 1971, following a successful season, the same fate of budget cuts that discontinued the previous “Chuting Stars” grounded the current team for the final time.
When the original team opened the opportunity for others to apply for parachute duty with the “Chuting Stars”, several of the aforementioned Navy Frogmen requested this assignment, but only Frank Moncrief of UDT TWENTY-TWO was selected. He remained with the Team through the first show season; however, when SEAL Team TWO was established in 1962, he was anxious to get back and join his SEAL Teammates.

 

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Here it is, it was further down in this write up from the SEAL Museum - NPT - Navy Parachute Team

 

The Leap Frogs-Origins of the Navy SEAL Parachuting Exhibition Team

 

Subsequently, in 1969, under the leadership of LT “Scotty” Lyon, the Team was officially designated by the Navy Recruiting Command as the Navy Parachute Team (NPT). While the West Coast was on the leading edge of military demonstration jumping, the East Coast had not progressed significantly in this regard, even though they had established a very active military sport parachuting club at NAS, Oceana.

The NPT (West) continued to retain “Leap Frogs” as their name, and the NPT (East) adopted “Chuting Stars” as theirs. For the next dozen years, the Mississippi served as the dividing line for demonstrations scheduled by the Naval Recruiting Command. Initially there was little contact between both Teams, but as time progressed, annual joint training evolved, All Navy and All Military freefall records were jointly established, and selected personnel from both Teams participated in Military and National Competition. In the mid 80’s, due to funding constraints and operational tempo, the “Chuting Stars” were disbanded and the “Leap Frogs” assumed responsibility for all official parachute demonstrations within the Navy.

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You come across these what I think are pocket patches for one piece jump suits rather frequently on eBay and there is even one that has a black background color. The only photo reference I have concerning this patch is this lighter for the UDT Seal Para Team Atlantic which existed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As I understand it there were a number of different USN Parachute Exhibition Teams formed over the years on the east and west coasts only to be discontinued due to budget cuts. If you can find it there is a good article that goes over the history of these various USN parachute exhibition teams written by the founder of the Leap Frogs Captain (Seal) N.H. Olson, USN, Retired.

 

 

 

 

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Retired Navy SEAL Frank Moncrief tells of his beginnings in 1958 at Ft. Benning, GA. Member of the 1962 Navy Chuting Stars Team. Original member of the Tidewater Area Skydiving Club. Early jumps with Lenny Waugh and Jim Arender. Instructor in SCUBA to Mercury 7 astronauts, including a great story of flying with Gus Grissom. Recorded at the Hall of Fame Weekend at Raeford, NC for the Skydiving Museum online E-Museum 10 October, 2014.

 

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Nice early patch!

 

Tonomachi, I like the two lighters... have not come across any of them yet.

 

Heres the same patch posted by Salvage Sailor.. this one came from a UDT22 member

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One of these patches is for sale currently on eBay however it is way overpriced in my opinion. This one is sewn on the pocket which was removed from a khaki shirt or jacket. I remember a number of these patches for sale on eBay a number of years ago but they seemed to have dried up.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-U-S-Navy-Parachute-Team-patch/113091290881?hash=item1a54c42701:g:5FsAAOSwEnZa1~AG

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Original Navy Chuting Stars Parachute Team patch circa 1961.

Nice early patch which looks like the exact same one pictured in the ASMIC Trading Post article. I finally found a poor picture of the patch that started this thread being worn by Ensign Catherine Mills of the West Coast Parachute Team.

 

 

 

 

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Close up of the above photo as it is hard to make out the patch on the upper left side of her athletic shirt.

 

 

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This appears else where in the forum but might as well add it here. From the beginning of Navy Parachute use

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I wrote the Trading Post article on Navy Chuting Stars patches.

Thats explains it and great article by the way. Now you need to do one for the Leap Frogs.

 

I believe someone has reproduced the patch that is shown in the beginning of this thread which I kept as reference back in 2015. Besides being black in color that white paper backing seems newer in construction than the blue one.

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