From the Canadian Force Base Gagetown Junior Officers' Journal
Edition 2, Volume 1, June 1975
Editor: Captain J.S. Cox
Another John Clee Story
… as told to Captain I.A. Kennedy
Captain (Ret) John Clee, CD
(14 Jun 1929 – 25 Feb 2009)
What else is new? Oh yes, I don't know whether the solid story of Clee the free-faller made it to New Brunswick. I could babble on for some time on the subject, but in summary, the story is as follows:
"The RAF freefall team was here on a swan. Would anyone like to try dicing with death with them? Yes, Clee would. So. after a thorough period of instruction, lasting some 30 minutes, I hurled my frail young carcass out of this iron bird at 12,000 feet. All quite splendid. my mentor had told me to adopt a semi-delta, which I did. Super-duper. Then I remembered that he had said something about a semi-frog. I cranked my limbs into the required posture and zap! There I was. The world had turned blue and I was on my back looking up this f------ RAF sergeant who was following me. Somewhat humidly, I tried to remember the drill for turning over, but to no avail. I spent the next minute (which is a f--- of a long time) trying to turn over as though in bed and looking at this idiot who was about 50 feet away and whose eyes seemed to be getting larger behind his goggles, for some unknown reason. Needless to say, I also had one eye firmly focused on my altimeter. This t--- had babbled something about pulling at 3,000 feet but when the clock unwound to that, I thought "p--- on him." Seriously, who wants to pull at terminal velocity with his parachute underneath him? I made another desperate effort to turn over, without success and finally pulled at two grand. The opening load was positively anti-climactic and my landing normal (like a sack of s---). On the ground, I was met by this madman, shouting and gibbering about Clee being a menace to everyone in the sky (this did not worry me in the slightest). Then he went on to rave about Clee being a menace to himself (this worried me acutely). His punch line was that Clee would never again jump with the RAF. Insolent young pup."
Captain (Ret) John Beaupre Scott Clee, CD, (14 Jun 1929 – 25 Feb 2009) joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1953 as an infantryman in The Royal Canadian Regiment, serving with NATO in Germany and the UN in Cypress. He was one of the first Canadians to attend the US Army Ranger School in 1959 and was a Distinguished Honour Graduate of his course. John rose to the rank of Master Warrant Officer and served with the Canadian Airborne Regiment from its inception. Commissioned in the rank of Captain on December 1972, John served as Range Control Officer at CFB Gagetown, as Trials and Evaluations Officer at the Canadian Airborne Centre, Griesbach Barracks, Edmonton and as a UN Military Observer on Israel's Golan Heights. He retired from the Canadian Army in 1984.