© Official Site  Of 555th Parachute Infantry “Triple Nickle”. 2008
555th Parachute Infantry  555th Parachute Infantry  555th Parachute Infantry 1944 - 1947 1944 - 1947 1944 - 1947 TripleNickle.com TripleNickle.com TripleNickle.com
AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY! The History Of The Triple Nickles The History Of The Triple Nickles The History Of The Triple Nickles 555th  Parachute Infantry Battalion 555th  Parachute Infantry Battalion 555th  Parachute Infantry Battalion Dedicated To Those Who Led The Way Dedicated To Those Who Led The Way Dedicated To Those Who Led The Way
MAINTAINING AN IMPORTANT LEGACY In   the   winter   of   1943-1944   twenty   young   African-American   enlisted   men   were   ordered   to Fort   Benning,   Georgia   to   be   trained   as   parachutists.      These   young   men   were   pioneers because,   never   before   in   the   segregated   military   system   then   prevalent,   were   “Coloreds” considered   intelligent   enough   or   brave   enough   to   serve   in   combat   units   of   any   type   and certainly not capable of being paratroopers. In   early   1944   sixteen   of   these   young   men   completed   requisite   training,   in   spite   of   being subjected   to   treatment   designed   to   make   them   fail,   and   were   awarded   the   silver   wings   of qualified   parachutists.      Shortly   thereafter   an   additional   trooper,   having   been   delayed   by   a family   emergency,   was   also   awarded   the   much   coveted   parachutist   badge.      These   men were   led   by   former   First   Sergeant   Walter   Morris,   and   went   on   to   form   the   cadre   for   the 555th Parachute Infantry Company at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. Several   weeks   after   the   “Test   Platoon”   graduated;   six   black   officers   also   completed   training and   were   awarded   parachutists   badges.      Prominent   among   the   six   was   Second   Lieutenant Bradley Biggs. Now   that   the   gates   were   open,   a   veritable   flood   of   young   black   men   volunteered   for parachute   training,   causing   the   rapid   evolvement   of   the   seventeen   enlisted   men   and   six officers   into   the   555th   Parachute   Infantry   Company   and   the   555th   Parachute   Infantry Battalion, which was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On   a   cold   day   in   December,   1947,   teary   eyed   members   of   the   “Triple   Nickles”   Battalion stood    in    mass    formation    as    this    proud,    one    of    a    kind    battalion    was    deactivated    and reactivated   as   the   3rd   Battalion,   505th   Airborne   Infantry   Regiment,   82nd   Airborne   Division, thus   becoming   the   first   black   unit   in   history   to   become   a   part   of   an   American   combat division.      This   historic   milestone   was   presided   over   by   then   Major   General   James   M.   “Slim Jim”   Gavin,   a   much   admired   and   respected   World   War   II   Commander.      General   Gavin, because   of   his   effort   in   bringing   the   “Triple   Nickles”   into   the   mainstream,   will   always   be revered by members of the 555th Parachute Infantry Association. The   3rd   Battalion,   505th   Airborne   Infantry   Regiment   subsequently   provided   personnel   for formation   of   the   503rd   Airborne   Anti-Aircraft   Battalion   and   the   80th   Airborne   Anti-Aircraft Battalion.        The    three    Battalions    then    provided    personnel    for    the    3rd    Battalion,    188th Airborne    Infantry    Regiment,    11th    Airborne    Division,    and    for    the    2nd    Airborne    Ranger Company    which    became    the    first    black    unit    to    make    a    combat    jump    in    Korea    while attached to the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. Without    doubt,    the    courage    and    competency    of    black    members    of    the    units    herein mentioned    paved    the    way    for    the    integrated    military    and    civilian    societies    that    all Americans    enjoy    today.        The    555th    Parachute    Infantry    Association    was    formed    as    a vehicle   designed   to   pay   homage   to   brave   troopers   who   have   preceded   us   and   to   maintain their memory by doing good works for the society in which we live. Joseph L. Murchison National President 555th Parachute Infantry Association, Inc.
Trooper Harold S. Cole offers rare insights into America's past by highlighting the tumultuous and triumphant history of the Buffalo Soldier. Growing up in North Pelham, New York, he started his military career prior to the start of World War II, and completed his service during the years of the Vietnam War. We Can, We Will, Ready and Forward are the tenets of the famed 9th and 10th Cavalry respectively, and served as Trooper Cole's motivation in life. He is more than a military man, he is a leader, disciplinarian, husband, father, and served as President for the Ninth and Tenth (Horse) Cavalry Association from 1997 to 2001. His commitment to community service and youth development establishes a foundation for future generations.