Columbus Post Office to be Named After Fort Benning Unit
Thursday, December 13th, 2018
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., and U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.-02, and Drew Ferguson, R-Ga.-03, applauded House and Senate passage of their bill to designate a United States Post Office in Columbus, Georgia, as the “Richard W. Williams, Jr., Chapter of the Triple Nickles (555th P.I.A.) Post Office.”
This bill was introduced in honor of Columbus-area veterans who served in military units that originated from the Army’s first all-black parachute unit, which was activated at Fort Benning in December 1943. After passing the Senate on Nov. 15, and the House on Dec. 11, the bill now heads to President Trump’s desk to become law.
“As the nation’s first all-black parachute unit, the heroes of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion courageously protected and defended our country throughout the 20th century, and this post office will demonstrate our thanks to the Triple Nickles Unit for their selfless actions and distinguished service,” said Isakson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
“The Triple Nickles, America’s first all-black parachute group, went above and beyond the call of duty, serving in more airborne units than any other parachute group in history,” said Senator Perdue, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “They trained at Fort Benning and remain a key part of Georgia’s proud military tradition. Columbus and the Fort Benning community have always embraced our veterans and their families, and we are honored to recognize their service with this fitting tribute.”
“I am honored to join my fellow Georgians and colleagues in Congress in honoring 555th Triple Nickles Parachute Infantry Battalion,” said Congressman Bishop. “The 555th Triple Nickles Parachute Infantry Battalion was the Army’s first African-American parachute unit that was commanded by Captain Richard W. Williams, Jr. These brave men persevered through the most challenging training during the most trying times of our nation. Despite racism on the home front, they persisted and overcame every hardship and challenge that came their way in service of our nation. They remain American heroes and pioneers on behalf of many African-Americans that followed in service.”
“Under Captain Richard W. Williams’s leadership, the 555th Triple Nickles Parachute Infantry Battalion bravely defended our nation during World War II,” said Congressman Ferguson. “It is an honor to be a part of the effort to honor their legacy, and I am proud of the Georgia delegation’s work to commemorate the Triple Nickles’ service and sacrifice. I look forward to seeing President Trump sign this bill into law.”
The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, commonly known as the Triple Nickles, was deactivated in December 1947, and its members went on to serve in other military units during the Korean War. Notably, many members of the Triple Nickles also went on to form the Army’s first and only all-black Ranger unit, the 2nd Ranger Company Airborne, which trained at Fort Benning and saw action in the Korean War. Ultimately, members of the Triple Nickles served in more airborne units, in peace and war, than any other parachute group in history.
The Richard W. Williams, Jr., Chapter of the Triple Nickles currently has a membership of approximately 61 veterans in Columbus, Ga., and the surrounding area who served in various military units that were fathered by the Triple Nickles, including the 173rd Airborne, 2nd Ranger Company Airborne, 1st Cavalry Division, and the 24th Infantry Division.
The Post Office to be renamed is located at 120 12th Street Lobby, Columbus, Ga.