By Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public AffairsJuly 30, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 30, 2018) -- To honor a historic unit of Fort Benning, Georgia, both U.S. senators from Georgia have introduced a bill to rename a Columbus, Georgia, post office as the "Richard W. Williams Chapter of the Triple Nickles (555th P.I.A.) Post Office."
The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, or "Triple Nickles" [sic], was a battalion that was activated at Fort Benning Dec. 30, 1943, and was comprised entirely of African American Soldiers.
The battalion trained at Fort Benning, moved to Camp Mackall, North Carolina, and in May 1945 they stationed at Pendleton Field, Oregon, with a detachment at Chico, California. The battalion was created to combat fires caused by Japanese balloon-borne incendiaries, a threat that never fully materialized during World War II. Nevertheless, members of the unit performed firefighting missions throughout the Pacific Northwest
After the war, the battalion moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and became part of the 82nd Airborne Division until the battalion's inactivation in 1947.
U.S. senators from Georgia David Perdue and Johnny Isakson drafted the bill to designate a downtown Columbus post office after the local chapter of the 555th's association. The post office is collocated with the court house on 12th Street.
According to the proposed bill, "Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States" to the post office would be as Richard W. Williams Chapter of the Triple Nickles (555th P.I.A.) Post Office.
To learn more about the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, visit https://history.army.mil/news/2014/140200a_tripleNickel.html.