The Triple Nickels

On 25 February 1943, the 555th Parachute Infantry Company was constituted. The unit, selected from volunteers from the Fort Huachuca-based 92d Infantry Division, was all-black, both enlisted men and officers.

While they never did make it to fight the Germans or Japanese directly, the “Triple Nickels” did see very dangerous stateside service in the Pacific West on Operation Firefly, jumping into remote forest areas to put out fires caused by Japanese Fugo incendiary bombs.

This mission led to today’s Smoke Jumpers.

Deactivated in 1947, the 555th’s members were rolled into the 82nd Airborne, making it the first integrated combat unit in the Army, and many saw service in Korea.

Lt. Clifford Allen, 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion.

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