MCpl Marc McRae

I remember when MCpl Marc McRae fell off the cliff at St Hillarion Castle, Cyprus, in Dec 86. The whole place was really subdued for a couple of weeks, particularly as this happened on a pleasure outing on a day off. A couple of things strike me to this day. First off, a box with his effects was delivered to me some months later to return to his NOK. Thank God I looked inside first as I was curious I thought we had already sent everything home. No shit, it was the clothes and camera he was wearing when he died, all covered in gore. I suspect the only reason the guidos did not steal the camera was it was smashed. I nearly upchucked, and sent the whole lot to the burn barrel the next time we destoyed our old combats. Second, his ashes were “interred” over DZ Anzio in spring 87. The Padre(P) Reg Gilbert was on the ramp, and instead of kneeling down and putting the urn out into the slipstream, he tossed them outwards, whereupon alot of them blew back into the plane and onto his buds waiting to follow for a bare ass ramp jump. Guess he did not want to jump too badly that day.

I have not jumped since I broke my arm and back in 99 in Zagreb, but am going to get my chute back from Mike Denis and put my knees to the breeze again this summer.

Blue skies,


8 Responses to “MCpl Marc McRae”

  1. on 18 Jul 2007 at 11:42 pmSven Bolke

    Marc was a friend of mine and we both served in AB Hq&Sigs,I was doing the Jm Duties that day and had to Hold the padre in the door.He was very nervous and scared kneeling in the door and did’nt toss the box out far enough and half the ashes blew back into the Aircraft.The Loady was covered and there was ash on the Ramp,we ended up taking a vaccum cleaner and vaccuming all the ashes we could find,what the loady did with it I don’t know,but I never mentioned it to his Family.Cheers from the Black Forest Sven

  2. on 20 Apr 2008 at 1:52 amNeil MacRae

    To all of you who knew my brother I thank you for your words. Mark died doing what he loved, experiencing life and the world, in which we live. I miss him, but one day I will see him again.

  3. on 18 Nov 2009 at 3:38 pmFiona MacRae

    I was able, through a series of events, to speak with and befriend a friend of Mark’s and that connection has helped even though it’s been nearly 25 years since Mark died. Although gone from this world, as my brother Neil says, we’ll all meet up again one day.
    Thanks again, Mark will not be forgotten. And he took flight long before his ashes did so it’s not a concern to us.

  4. on 23 Feb 2011 at 3:19 pmKen

    All I can say is after these many years since that fateful day which was suppose to be a fun and relaxing filled day, after a long working period. There is not a month that goes by that I don’t think of Mark. The thought that most comes to mind from that day, is all of the guy’s whether they were friends with Mark or just part of the unit, everyone and I mean everyone, lined up waiting to board a bus for the Hospital to give blood or whatever they could to make things right again. He was a good man and will not be forgotten.

  5. on 26 Jun 2012 at 4:27 pmFiona MacRae

    Thank you for that Ken.

  6. on 06 Dec 2012 at 10:36 amTim Majovsky


    My helmet, now a halo
    Wings replace my chute
    To fly amongst the eagles
    No Soldier would dispute
    No aircraft is needed
    To take me to the sky
    Your prayers from below
    Have lifted me so high
    My spirit is my engine
    No need to refuel
    No runway required
    A rainbow`s edge will do
    No need for maps or compasses
    My angels are my guides
    Their strength and love have gifted me
    To soar the sky with pride
    The heavens here are endless
    My soul’s now free to roam
    There is no need to cry my friends
    This Airborne Trooper found his home.

  7. on 26 Mar 2014 at 8:06 amFiona MacRae

    Tim, that was a lovely poem.
    Thank you!

  8. on 23 Jun 2016 at 5:08 pmDonald Desrosiers

    I did not know Mark very well since I was a FNG, only had about 6 months in the Regiment when our tour started. Got to know him a liitle better on tour as he was the I/C of Sigs store. I buged him a lot for spare parts, specialy top parts of whip antenna. I was on that trip in Dec 86. It was a hard blow for the troops. As paratrooper, we recovered but always had a special spot for Mark in our hearts. I now live in Wasaga Beach and in Angus (CFB Borden) they made the a UN memorial park and they have a monument honoring our fallen comerades. Since I live here, every morning i drive by the memorial and
    on December 6 I go and remember the good times by his name.
    Fair wind and soft landing Mark

    Don Don

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