WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- During World War II, Claude Hensinger’s life was saved by his parachute during a jump from a B-29 plane.
- Even after the war ended, he still carried the lifesaving parachute with him as he resettled in civilian life.
- When he proposed to his would-be wife, he offered the fabric and asked her to use it to make her wedding dress.
Choosing the wedding dress is the most exciting part for every bride when planning a wedding. There are those who would opt for unusual materials to make their wedding dress unique. Well, Ruth did just that — she wore a wedding dress created from a parachute that saved the life of her childhood friend and husband-to-be during World War II.
In August 1944, Maj.Claude Hensinger, a B-29 pilot, was flying back from a bomb run in Yowata, Japan when an engine caught fire. The entire crew was forced to jump out of the plane, and that’s when the parachute unfolded and saved his life. It also kept him warm and prevented his injuries from bleeding out while waiting for daybreak.
Fortunately, the crew managed to reassemble then were taken in by friendly Chinese the next day, and Maj. Hensinger returned safely to the US. When the war ended one year later, Claude took the precious parachute with him and resettled in his native Pennsylvania.
Resuming civilian life, Claude started courting her friend Ruth. When he proposed, he offered not a ring, but the lifesaving fabric to a startled Ruth, saying, “This is the parachute that saved my life. I want you to make a wedding dress out of it.”
At first, Ruth didn’t know what to do with the massive yardage of nylon. But inspiration hit her after seeing a swirly dress that looked like Scarlett O’Hara’s dress in Gone with the Wind. While a local seamstress worked on the bodice and veil, Ruth designed the skirt using the parachute cords to create ruching, sewing it higher in front and leaving it lower in back.
Finally, Claude and Ruth married on July 19, 1947, at the Neffs Lutheran Church in Neffs, Pennsylvania. As Ruth walked down the aisle, it was also the first time Claude got a glimpse of the parachute wedding dress that he requested. Little did they know that the dress will be later worn by their daughter and their son’s bride.
Today, the dress still remains in one piece and is a significant item at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Source: Good News Network