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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Was it the Triple Nickel?

The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was initiated in 1944, the First All-Black Paratroop Unit with twenty men, of which sixteen completed jump school and were awarded parachute wings in 1944. The Battalion then became a part of the 82nd Airborne Division after "Smoke Jumping" duty in California for the U.S. Park Service, combatting fires caused by Japanese 30 foot laquered paper balloons sent by the Japanese in the jetstream. They launched 10,000 of these balloons filled with explosive hydrogen and three small bombs. This is a little known fact of WW2. They were the first black army unit to be integrated . They were integrated into the 82nd Airborne in 1947, as the 3rd battalion, 505th Airborne Inf. Regt., at Fort Bragg, N.C. under the Command of General Gavin. My cousin Haskell Shackelford was a member of the 555, "Triple Nickel". They were not sent to Europe.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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