Stunts

 
A relatively recent Ranger tale.

I wasn't there, so I can't attest to this being absolutely true, but having been in the Ranger Bn, it certainly sounds on the mark. In the mid-70's, the Rangers were hot and heavy into airfield seizure missions, particularly in support of Delta. I was on several of the initial practice runs for this stuff, and we ran through just about every possible way of getting the job done. We jumped, assault-landed with C-130's, etc.

Well, not long after I left the Ranger to go into the thinking man's part of the Army, SF, the Rangers decided to take a tip from the Israelis and break from the long-standing tradition of doing everything on foot. The Rangers got some gun jeeps (the notably flip-worthy M151) and motorcycles. So they go out to do a practice C-130 assault landing with the new toys, much in line with the Israeli Entebbe airport assault style. As the C-130 lands, some stalwart young bucks are mounted on the dirt bikes on the ramp, with the idea that the ramp will drop after the plane has reversed props and braked (but is still rolling to the tune of 60+ MPH).

Unfortunately, apparently oblivious to the laws of physics, this fledgling Ranger chapter of the Hell's Angels have their front wheels pointed towards the tailgate (i.e. 180 degrees opposite of the direction of flight/landing/where the plane is moving at a relatively high rate of speed). So as the ramp drops and off they zoom to do great and glorious things on behalf of their nation, they find themselves in the rather uncomfortable position of going backwards at 60 MPH on machines that were really never intended to be ridden in reverse. No major injuries or deaths, as I've heard, but some hard scrapes and severe runway rash. Hope they got it right the next time.