In January 1940 when Major General George Lynch received the initial approval for his Airborne Study, it still had not been determined where any such organization would fit into the US Military structure.  However on receiving the directive to give the “air infantry” project top priority, Maj. Gen. Lynch immediately assigned the project to Major William Lee, who he considered to be one of his smartest and most dedicated staff and who had been a platoon and company commander in World War I.

 Major Lee’s first task was to secure planes and parachutes for the project and on contacting the Air Corps, requested transport aircraft, the development of a static line activated parachute, the loan of two riggers and two experienced parachute jumpers and several equipment chutes for tests by the Infantry Board at Fort Benning. Within three weeks, the Air Corps sent planes, men and some equipment to Lawson Field at Fort Benning and by May 1940, the Air Corps test centre based at Wright Field, Ohio, had developed the T-4, a backpack, static line activated personnel chute, twenty-eight feet in diameter and a small rip cord activated reserve chute.  By June 1940, the Infantry Board was really in a position where they could commence live jump tests, although it would still be some time before it was decided where it would fit within the Table of Organization.

Major General Eugene Schley, the chief of engineers, thought that his branch should adopt the paratroopers because he believed that they would require extensive training in the use of explosives. General Henry “Hap” Arnold felt that the Air Corps should have them because of their dependence on aircraft to get them to their objectives. As the Navy had the Marines, so the Air Corps should have the paratroopers. Maj. Gen. Lynch on the other hand felt that they were clearly an adjunct to the infantry and was so incensed by the other chiefs’ attempts to embezzle the developing airborne troops, that he requested a personal meeting wit General Marshall to settle the matter. All were at the meeting and stated their case but when it was Lynch’s turn he said, “Once on the ground the parachutist becomes an infantryman and fights like an infantryman. He added as a clincher, that the Parachute Test Platoon was already in training at Fort Benning and the inevitable increase in the airborne effort should be under the Chief of Infantry and that Fort Benning should be the seat of Paratrooper training. History confirms that General Marshall’s decision placed the paratroopers with the infantry and home for airborne training would be Fort Benning, Georgia.