Pioneering Skydiver Gerald “Jerry” Bourquin, D-22, passed away on January 21 at 87 years of age. He had been a skydiver for more than 50 years. Bourquin joined the U.S. Army in 1951 and earned his airborne jump wings in 1957. In 1960, Bourquin joined the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) Parachute Team, the forerunner of today’s U.S. Army Golden Knights. Bourquin served on the team until 1964 and was the competition team leader from 1961-1964. In 1962, Bourquin won the U.S. National Style Championship and took second overall at Nationals in 1962 and 1964.
Bourquin was the second person to earn the Gold Wings (now called the 1,000-Jump Wings) from the Parachute Club of America, USPA’s predecessor organization. Amassing more than 4,000 skydives overall, he jumped well into his 80s and was a member of the Jumpers Over Eighty Society. In 2014, he was inducted into the International Skydiving Hall of Fame.