Monday, May 3, 2010
Remembering the Triple Nickle - the 555th Parachute Infantry Batallion
World War II. The second great war, and one in which our nation was involved both in Europe and in the Pacific. Most soldiers of all colors served the nation with honor, and dignity.
They fought in battles, many lost their lives, and countless stories went untold.
My father served in WWII, as an ordinary man among the enlisted men. But when asked, he did speak with pride about his service in Europe nad north Africa. He would talk with special pride though when he would mention those "Tuskeegee Men" who made him and his own army comrades swell with pride. Many in the army had heard of the Tuskegee Airmen.
But Daddy dalso mention some other men who took to the skies, an their story was different. They had an unusual name---the Triple Nickle. This was a nickname for 5 5 5----the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. This unit was all black and he would say often now those were "some serious soldiers".
These black men were trained for a secret mission and only decades later, would these stories eventually be told. Most are now deceased, although there are hopefully some who still remain to tell of their mission--a secret mission.
They were men of dignity, serving in a segregated army but when asked, they bailed out of planes for freedom.
In recent years they have been mentioned finally in Washington, and they have been honored.
But their name is not yet a household name. And it should bem for they served our nation, with honor.
Let us remember the Triple Nickle---the 555th Parachute Infantry Batallion.