555th Parachute Infantry Co. - Fort Leavenworth KS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 39° 20.761 W 094° 55.123
15S E 334660 N 4356931
Quick Description: The memorial to the 555th Parachute Infantry, the first black Parachute Infantry unit in a then-segregated US Army stands proudly near Smith Lake on board Fort Leavenworth KS.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 4/2/2013 3:04:15 PM
Waymark Code: WMGQY8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 5

Long Description:
From Travel Kansas website: (visit link)

"When visitors arrive at the entrance to Fort Leavenworth, it typically takes about 5 minutes to get a visitor's pass. The army requires photo ID, car registration and proof of insurance. They will inform you of any restrictions to where you may go on the Fort. Only US residents are permitted to tour Fort Leavenworth."

The memorial is a bronze bust of a member of the 555th Parachute Infantry placed on a hexagonal grey granite base.

The soldier has his chute packed perfectly, and seems to be standing ready present it for inspection.

This memorial is one of several recognizing significant African-American figures in US Army history along a path around Smith Lake near the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial on Fort Leavenworth KS.

Text has been engraved on three sides of the base. From left to right:

[left panel]

[graphic of unit insignia]


Triple Nickle
Smoke Jumpers


Significant dates
and info:

First Trng -- 10 Sep 1944
1st to die -- PFC Talon Brown
1st Battalion Commander
CPT James H Porter
1st black officers assigned and
1st Lt Jasper E Ross
2nd Lt Clifford Allen
2nd Lt Edward Baker
2nd Lt Bradley Biggs
2nd Lt Darren C. Cornelius
2nd Lt Edwin H Wills


The Fire-Fly Project
(secret mission)
May-Oct 1945
1st Fire Jump -- 14 Jul 1945
Last Fire Jump -- 10 Oct 1945
Total Fires fought -- 36
Total Individual Jumps -- 1200+
100 combat jumps

[center panel]

[crossed rifles]

Dedicated to the first black Parachute Infantry


Placed on Army rolls
25 Feb 1943

Authorized as 555th PI Company
19 Dec 1943 -- Ft Benning GA

Activated as 555th Battalion
25 Nov 1944 - Camp Macknall NC

Redesignated as 3rd Battalion
505th ABN Infantry Regiment
and integrated
82nd Airborne Division -- 09 Dec 1947

Inactivated 15 Dec 1947

Removed from Army rolls
22 Aug 1950


"These great paratroopers
walked point for their race
and for our country, facing
down discrimination by
standing in the door as one
and jumping into our nation's
LTG David Petraeus
07 Sep 2006

[right panel]

[Silver Parachutist wings]

The Original Seventeen*


1st assigned and selected
1st Sgt Walter Morris

1st to take qualification jump
SSGT Calvin A Bell


SSGT Hubert Bridges
SSGT Lonnie M. Duke
SS Robert F. Greene
SGT Clarence Beavers
SGT Ned Bess
SGT James E. Kornegay
SGT Leo D. Reed
SGT Samuel J. Robinson
SGT Jack D. Wills
SGT Roger S. Walden
SGT Daniel C. Weil
SGT Elijah Wesby
CPL McKinley Geoffrey Jr
CPL Castell O Stewart**
TECH 4 Flkynn J. Moen

*16 Qualified 08 Feb 1944
**On emergency leave
Qualified one week later
Website pertaining to the memorial: [Web Link]

List if there are any visiting hours:
24/7/365 if this active Army base is not closed

Entrance fees (if it applies): o

Type of memorial: Monument

Visit Instructions:

*(1.)* Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit.
*(2.)* If you have additional information about the memorial which is not listed in the waymark description, please notify the waymark owner to have it added, and please post the information in your visit log.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Woobie491 visited 555th Parachute Infantry Co. - Fort Leavenworth KS 6/2/2015 Woobie491 visited it
Benchmark Blasterz visited 555th Parachute Infantry Co. - Fort Leavenworth KS 3/13/2013 Benchmark Blasterz visited it

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