Jeff: Died Doing What He Loved to Do

Jeff made history for his love of parachuting and unfortunate death.

Jeff, a pit bull, was the mascot of the 120th observation squadron of the Colorado Air National Guard. Not only did Jeff help boost morale among his fellow men, the adventurous dog loved jumping out of the planes with them. Outfitted with his own parachutes, Jeff successfully jumped at least 100 times before his fateful day.

On August 16, 1924 Jeff was to parachute from a plane during an air show at Lowry Field in Denver. When asked about Jeff's safety, an aviator responded, "It would break Jeff's heart if he missed a jump on an occasion like this." Jeff was taken up some 3000 feet by pilot Sergeant Kerns, jumped as usual, and sadly plunged to his death when his parachute failed to open. Army Sergeant J. C. Ziegler, Jeff's owner, pushed through the crowd and gathered the body of his beloved dog in his arms.

Jeff was laid to rest by the men who regarded the dog as one of their own - the dog who died doing what he loved to do.