The following is a brief extract from the book "One Crowded Hour:
Neil Davis, Combat Cameraman, 1934-1985", by Tim Bowden...
There are many stories about the Gurkhas and their
attitudes to combat, but one of the most famous actually
took place in Borneo while I [Davis] was there, and was told to
me with great gusto by a British Gurkha officer.
The Gurkhas were not trained as paratroopers, but
were asked if they would be prepared to jump from a
Hercules C130 transport aircraft into combat against the
Indonesians if the need arose. The Gurkhas had the right
to turn down this request because they had not been
trained for this combat role.
Now the Gurkhas usually agreed to anything, but on
this occasion they provisionally rejected the plan. But
the next day, one of their NCOs sought out the British
officer who had made the request and said they had
discussed the matter further and would be prepared to
jump under certain conditions.
"What are they?" asked the British officer.
The Gurkhas told him they would jump if the land was
marshy or reasonably soft with no rocky outcrops,
because they were inexperienced in falling.
The British officer considered this, and said that the
dropping area would almost certainly be over jungle, and
there would not be any rocky outcrops, so that seemed
all right. Was there anything else?
Yes, said the Gurkhas. They wanted the plane to fly as
slowly as possible and no more than one hundred feet
high. The British pointed out that the planes always did
fly as slowly as possible when dropping troops, but to
jump from one hundred feet was impossible, because the
parachutes would not open in time from that height.
"Oh," said the Gurkhas, "that's all right then. We'll jump
with parachutes anywhere. You didn't mention
Richard P. Murnane Life's too short to waste time