U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) applauded the Senate’s passage of a bill on Thursday that they introduced 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.”
The bill, S.3237, 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.
“The Triple Nickles trained at Fort Benning and went on to serve in more airborne units than any other parachute group in history,” said Senator Perdue, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “They are a key part of Georgia’s proud military tradition, and it’s an honor to recognize their service with this tribute. Columbus and the Fort Benning community have always embraced our veterans and their families, and this renaming will be a fitting way to honor all who have served.”
“The service members of the Richard W. Williams, Jr., Chapter of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, better known as Triple Nickles, served with distinction and honor in this unit and beyond, and I’m glad to know we are one step closer to renaming this Columbus post office in their honor,” said Senator Isakson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “As the nation’s first all-black parachute unit, these heroes courageously protected and defended our country throughout the 20th century, and I am glad to have the opportunity to thank them for their selfless actions and distinguished service.”
Perdue and Isakson introduced the Senate bill in July to honor the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, commonly known as the Triple Nickles. The unit 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, Georgia, and the surrounding area who served in various military units that were fathered by the Triple Nickle, including the 173rd Airborne, 2nd Ranger Company Airborne, 1st Calvary Division, and the 24th Infantry Division.
The Post Office to be renamed is located at 120 12th Street Lobby, Columbus, Georgia.
Companion legislation, H.R.6719, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in September by U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02) and Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03).
View the bill here.