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February 06, 2019

Wedding dress of WWII veteran's bride was made from the parachute that once saved the groom's life

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A woman named Ruth decided to make her wedding dress out of an unusual material - her husband's old parachute, which spared his life amid World War II. 

Major Claude Hensinger and his team had just triumphantly made a bombing run over Yowata, Japan. However, one of their engines burst into flames on the way back to base, according to We Are The Mighty.

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The wedding gown is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History.

Everybody needed to bail out over China instead of heading home. The parachute got Hensinger securely to the ground. It also kept him warm and staunched the bleeding from an injury he had sustained. 

RECONNECTING WITH A FRIEND FROM HIS CHILDHOOD

Hensinger continued to hold on to the parachute. He eventually made it to safety.

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He came back to his native Pennsylvania when the war ended. He then reconnected with his childhood friend named Ruth.

The pair started dating, and in 1947, Hensinger got down on one knee. He proposed to Ruth without a ring.

Rather, he held his parachute in his hands. He told Ruth that it was the parachute that saved his life and asked her to make a wedding gown out of it.

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Ruth said yes to both questions. She then made the skirt herself and hired a local seamstress to make the bodice and veil.

THE WEDDING

Hensinger didn't get the chance to see Ruth's parachute dress, which was based on Scarlett O’Hara’s from “Gone With the Wind”, until she walked down the aisle.

Evidently, Hensinger liked the dress and others did, as well, as it was used by several other brides in the years that followed.

Before Hensinger died in 1996, they were married for 49 years.

The wedding gown is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History.

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