BSBD, Harry Parrish

Long-time Virginia jumper Harry Parrish passed away over the weekend at West Point Skydiving Adventures. James Bennett shared these thoughts about Harry with us. Please feel free to add your own memories in the comments, or e-mail them to us at

“In the past two weeks, I had jumped twice with him, and have been really close for the past year. He was a father-figure to a lot of us, but I felt especially close to the guy, being ex-military.

Harry would do anything for anyone, he was just built that way. If he wasn’t burning down the woods with an oversized bonfire in Louisa, he was popping wheelies on the tractor at West Point while hauling the battery trailer to the King Air. I only had the honor to know him for two years, but I can remember almost every interaction we had, he just made that kind of impression on you. Harry was bigger than life.

PD New Beginning

Here’s the picture from my log book. It was taken on 10-13-08 after my AFF L2 jump at Skydive Virginia! in Louisa. Harry was on my reserve side.

What pages from a logbook can tell you about someone can probably say more than anything else.

James Bennett logbook

I really, really loved Harry, and he will be missed by everyone that ever knew him.”


  • Harry ran my very first JM class at Ft. Campbell KY. The methods and comments he made 15 years ago, I use now when I train new instructors. His manner and methods he used then live on through me in the new students and instructors I train.
    Paul Gholson
    SEMO Skydiving

  • Harry was my uncle and I loved as a little kid watching him jump at my parents house every 4th. Due to things out of my control I lost contact with him severl years ago and just a few weeks ago I found out that he was in VA. I was working on a letter to him to let him know that I was thinking about him and last night my brother came to tell me the bad news. I know that he was doing what he loved. I think I was the only 3 year old to know how to pack a chute.

    • This is SSG Steve Barnes I served with a Harry Parrish from 1986-1994 we were in the Gulf War together I’m hoping this is not him. Could someone call me and let me know about him. 615-594-1010

  • Harry and my father Galen Fitzwater use to jump together at Ft Campbell, KY. I have so many fond memories of Uncle Harry. Whenever my father and him would skydive I was always at the DZ waiting on them. Harry used to say that I was the Jump Club’s mascot. He and my father would put me in a rig attached to the ceiling and I would hang there for hours, that’s where I would take my naps. They would feed me pizza crust and I would be perfectly content. Uncle Harry and I took a trip in ’96 to Ft Bragg to see my father who was having surgery on his shoulder. Uncle Harry dubbed me the nava-guesser. He’s the only reason I can read a map to this day. I have so many more stories that I could tell about Uncle Harry, but they all still come to the same conclusion. Harry was a good man, I loved him as if he were my blood Uncle. Its funny how the ARMY can give you so many family members. I will miss him dearly.

    • Promise, My name is Gigi prince, I use to jump with your dad and Harry! I had some of the greatest times of my life hanging out with both of them! They were both great guys! I miss them both very much!

    • That’s my log book, and I am former military. Your Uncle is greatly missed. I will definately be thanking him this Vets Day. He was a good friend, to the end.

      Respect, and God’s Speed,

      James N Bennett.
      USN FC2 and some other shit

  • I couldn’t believe the news when I heard it! Was watching some skydivers in Ohio and mentioned Harry as one of my skydive mentors! Brand-new him and told me of Harry’s passing. Looking at my logbook first jump with Harry March 12, 1994 fort Campbell UH 60. laser 9 with 26 LoPo 3000 foot static line. Signed: Harry L Parish Junior D8115 I/E – 94. Enjoyed what little time I got to know him, he was an excellent man.

  • I came across this post today. I am Harry’s sister. Still hard to believe he is gone. I enjoy reading posts like this from his friends, battle buddies and family. Blue Skies Harry !

    • We ARE brothers, lol. The movie says we WERE brothers, but that’s Hollywood. Love you man, good talk this PM.

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