Stands Alone, Together, Forever by James Dietz
The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, "Currahee" - which is Cherokee for "Stands Alone" - was established on July 20, 1942 at Camp Toccoa, Georgia. Throughout World War II, the 506th gained a tremendous reputation as one of the best fighting units in the Army. The Currahee Regiment received Presidential Unit Citations for combat action in Normandy and Bastogne with battle streamers for action in Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. The 506th was inactivated at the end of World War II and later assigned as a training unit at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky and later moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The 506th was reactivated and deployed to the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1967. While in Vietnam, the Regiment was converted from Airborne to Airmobile Infantry. Here, our battalions would serve for four years, earn twelve more battle streamers, and receive a third Presidential Unit Citation for actions at Dong Ap Bia Mountain, better known as "Hamburger Hill" in the A-Shau valley. In December 1971 the 506th redeployed back to Fort Campbell and was deactivated in May 1984.
From 1987-2004, the 1st Battalion (Red Currahee), "Stood Alone" in Korea as the only American combat force north of the Imjin River, less than three kilometers from the demilitarized zone. In August 2004, the Red Currahees deployed with other elements of the 2nd Infantry Division to Iraq where they served for one year and re-deployed to Fort Carson, Colorado - where the Currahee flag was inactivated in September 2005.
The 506th was reactivated as the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division back "home" at Fort Campbell on October 13, 2005. The modern day Currahee "Band of Brothers" consists of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 506th Infantry, along with 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry; 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery; the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion; and the 801st Brigade Support Battalion. This force deployed to Iraq from November 2005 through November 2006 where it served in East Baghdad with distinction.
In March and April of 2008, the 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan and transitioned to Combined Task Force Currahee, consisting of almost 6,000 service members from the United States, Poland and the Czech Republic to promote peace and prosperity to the people of Paktya, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Logar and Wardak as part of Combined - Joint Task Force 101. The Currahees redeployed back to Fort Campbell from this operation in March 2009.
In August 2010, 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan as part of the surge of forces approved by President Obama. Task Force Currahee took operational control of Paktika Province to advance the Coalition Forces efforts in stabilizing Regional Command East, securing key population centers and denying enemy freedom of maneuver along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. After the end of their mission in Paktika, 4th Brigade redeployed to Fort Campbell in August 2011.
This print is dedicated to the soldiers of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. From "Currahee Mountain" in Toccoa, to D-Day, Holland and Bastogne, the highlands of Vietnam, the streets of Iraq and the peaks of Afghanistan - the Currahee Soldier continues to "Stand Alone" yet "Stand Together" proud of the past and prepared to face the challenges of the future.
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