This is probably the most romantic wedding dress I’ve ever seen. The dress was sewn in 1947 from a parachute which saved the groom’s life during WWII.
In August 1944, Maj. Claude Hensinger, a B-29 pilot, and his crew, were returning from a bombing raid over Japan, when an engine suddenly caught fire. The crew was forced to bail out. After using his parachute to safely jump from the burning aircraft, the chute helped him to survive by providing shelter until he was rescued. He kept the parachute and after returning home from war to Pennsylvania, he proposed to his girlfriend Ruth in 1947. She used the life-saving parachute as the material for her wedding dress.The dress was designed to resemble a dress which appeared in Gone With The Wind. The skirt used the original parachute strings, so that way the dress was shorter in the front and had a train in the back.
That piece of nylon fabric was the only thing between life and death for the American pilot and the only reason he was able to come home and marry Ruth. At a time when so many young men did not return, this piece of material meant a lot to the couple. It was also worn by the their daughter and by their daughter in law before being donated to the Smithsonian.