Thomas Cooper enlisted into the Royal Artillery in 1965 and volunteered for airborne forces.
He completed his basic training and passed pre-parachute selection (P Company) prior to attendance at No 1 Parachute Training School, RAF Abingdon, for his parachute course in June 1965.
He was onboard a Hastings aircraft for his qualifying jump at RAF Weston on the Green, when it crashed shortly after take-off killing all 41 occupants on board.
The other passengers included seven Parachute Regiment recruits also on the aircraft to make their qualifying jump, eight RAF Parachute Jump Instructors, and three NCOs from The Parachute Regiment attending an Assistant Parachute Jump Instructors course.
Gunner Thomas Cooper died on 6 July 1965, aged just 17 years old.