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506th Parachute Infantry Regiment

From Academic Kids

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506_patch.jpeg
506th PIR Patch
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506th PIR Crest

During World War II, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (506th PIR) was a regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army.

The regiment was initially formed at Camp Toccoa, Georgia in 1942. It would participate in three major battles during the war: D-Day, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. During World War II, the only commander of the regiment was Colonel Robert F. Sink. As such, the 506th was sometimes referred to as the "Five-Oh-Sink". On June 10th, 1942, the 506th became part of the 101st Airborne Division.

At the completion of their training at Camp Toccoa, the 2nd Battalion marched 118 miles to Atlanta, Georgia. This march was conducted over 75 hours and 15 minutes, with 33 and one-half hours being used for marching. Only 12 out of 556 enlisted men failed to complete the march. All 30 officers completed it, including their commander, Major Robert L. Strayer. Newspapers covered the march and many civilians turned out to cheer the men as they neared Five Points (Atlanta).

Easy Company, the group followed in the HBO television miniseries Band of Brothers, was part of this regiment.

The 506th was de-activated in 1945, then re-activated as the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment in 1948-1949, again in 1950-1953 and finally, in 1954 to train recruits. Despite the designation "Airborne Infantry" and it's containing assignment in the 101st Airborne Division, none of these troops received airborne training, nor was the "Airborne" rocker worn above the Divisional patch.

After re-activation in 1956, the 506th actually became an Airborne unit again. Just before the Cuban Missile Crisis, on October 1, 1962, the 506th was deployed to Oxford, Mississippi to assist to in restoring order after James Meredith arrived to integrate the University of Mississippi.

As part of the 101st Airborne, the 506th was deployed to Viet Nam, participating in the conflict from 1964 to 1971. The unit was re-designated as Airmobile in 1969, then Air Assault in 1974. It was de-activated again in 1984, then re-activated to serve in the DMZ in Korea in 1987.

The 506th is currently serving in Iraq and is apart of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Famous soldiers of the 506th

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