rw records

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World's First Photographed Four Man Star

World's first photographed four man star over Arvin, California, March, 1964.

Clockwise from top: Mitch Poteet, Don Henderson, Andy Keech, and Lou Paproski.

Color Stills: Bob Buquor - courtesy of Don Henderson.. 

1st rw records

There were several professional skydiving photographers in Southern California in the early '60's, most filming at Taft, Lancaster, Piru, and Elsinore. Ralph White, Bob Sinclair, Milt Platt, Doyle Fields, Jim Lizzio, Joe Gonzales, Chip Maury, and Lyle Cameron were the most prominent. Bob Buquor filmed jointly with most of them from time to time, but when Arvin opened in March of '64, Bob seemed to have found his own private studio. The filming competition stayed at the other drop zones giving Bob the latitude to organize, direct and film what he wanted to rather than chase unruly skydivers around the sky for a unique shot. This ultimately led to many of relative work "firsts" which are now listed below.

World's  First  Photographed  Six  Man  Star

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World's First Photographed Six Man Star, Arvin, California, September 6, 1964.

12 O'clock position - Left to right: John De Porter, Mitch Poteet, Don Henderson, Richard Economy, Lou Paproski, Bob Thompson.

Color stills: Bob Buquor - courtesy of Don Henderson.

World's  First  Photographed  Eight  Man  Star

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Mitch Poteet docks 4th on Gary Young left, and Bill Newell right. Al Paradowski top right as Bill Stage maneuvers for a slot.

The photos below are of the first photographed eight man-star in Arvin CA October 17, 1965. The participants are Gray Young, Al Paradowski, Bill Newell, Mitch poteet, Bill Stage, Jim Dann, Don Henderson and Brian Williams.

B&W stills by Bob Buquor

Eight  Man  Star  Participants

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Bill Stage breaks wrists 5th between Gary and Al. Jim Dann entering in foreground with Don Henderson lurking in background.

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Jim Dann breaks in 6th between Poteet and Newell while Henderson is poised for 7th.

World's  First  10-Way  Baton  Pass

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World's First 10-Way Baton Pass, Arvin, California May 15, 1966: Before accomplishing this feat on the first attempt, the previous baton pass record stood at 9 by the USAPT from a C-130 from 30,000 feet with ten jumpers.

Standing - Left to right: Al Paradowski, Bill Stage, Don Bradley, Jim Dann, Bob Buquor.

Kneeling - Left to Right: Al Walters, Jerry Bird, Tommy Owens, Joe McKinney, Terry Ward.

Photo: Tim Harris

The Men Who Made The World's First 10-Man Star

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World's First Photographed Ten Man Star, Taft, California, July 2, 1967:

12:00 high - Paul Gorman enters 10th on the first 10-man star on his 87th jump and also becomes SCR# 29.

1:00 position - Left to Right: Jim Dann, Bill Newell, Clark Fischer, Brian Williams, Jerry Bird, Bill Stage, John Rinard, Terry Ward, Gary Young.

Color stills: Luis Melendez Jr.

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Standing - Left to Right: Brian Williams, Gary Young, Bill Stage, Jerry Bird, Clark Fischer, Paul Gorman, and John Rinard.

Kneeling - Left to Right: Jim Dann, Terry Ward, and Bill Newell.

Photo: Luis Melendez Jr.