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Reply #108: The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, aka "The Triple Nickles" [View All]

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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-05-07 10:33 AM
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108. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, aka "The Triple Nickles"
The first all-Black paratrooper unit in the US Army during World War II. The "Triple Nickles" was born during a time of complete segregation in the United States and it has survived to what it still stands to be.

The "Triple Nickles" began its trek into airborne history on December 19, 1943, as the 555th Parachute Company. Almost a year later, the unit became a battalion and included riggers, jumpmasters, pathfinders and communications soldiers. The 555th Parachute Infantry Batallion didn't deploy overseas during World War II. It was mobilized to fight a threat closer to home as "smokejumpers," airborne firefighters. Under this mission, soldiers made more than 1,000 jumps, fighting forest fires in Oregon and California, some of which were started by Japanese incendiary balloons. In December 1947 the 555th was redesignated as the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment and assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. Members of the original "Triple Nickles" went into combat during the Korean War, joining such other airborne units as the 2nd Ranger Company and the 187th Airborne Combat Team.
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