3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment
The mission of the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was to deploy within 18 hours of notification, worldwide as part of a joint, multinational or unilateral task force to destroy enemy forces, conduct combat operations, and win. The Battalion would conduct a forced entry parachute assault to seize and retain a defended airfield or other terrain, build up combat power as quickly as possible and conduct follow-on military operations in order to control land, people, and resources.
The 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was first constituted on 24 June 1942 in the Army of the United States as Company C, 505th Parachute Infantry and activated on 6 July 1942 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned on 10 February 1943 to the 82nd Airborne Division.
During World War II, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment participated in 7 major campaigns and 4 regimental airborne assaults. On 28 April 1943, the 505th Parachute Infantry left the New York Port of Embarkation for Casablanca, North Africa where the Regiment underwent 6 weeks of grueling training. The Regiment then flew to Kairouan, Tunisia where final preparations were conducted for the 505th's entry into battle.
On 9 July 1943, just over a year after it's activation the 505th Parachute Infantry made the first regimental size combat parachute attack as it landed behind enemy lines at Gela, Sicily. In it's first trial-by-fire, the 505th, though out-manned and outgunned, used raw courage and fighting spirit to block the German Herman Goering Panzer Division and to save the beachhead and the Allied landings. With Sicily secure, the Allies continued the attack on the Axis powers with landings on the Italian mainland. The 505th Parachute Infantry conducted it's second combat parachute attack on 14 September 1943, into Salerno, Italy becoming the first unit to enter Naples.
During the early months of 1944, the 82nd Airborne Division was moved to England as the allies were preparing for the assault on Western Europe. The largest combined military operation in history, "D-Day", was to be spearheaded by the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. 6 June 1944, at 0300 hours, found the paratroopers of the 505th Parachute Infantry landing on the Normandy Peninsula. It was one of the first airborne units to hit the ground and liberated the first town in France, St. Mere-Eglise. The paratroopers jumped prior to the actual start of the invasion "H-Hour." That tradition of being the first into the fight led to the 505th Regimental motto of "H-MINUS." For their performance in the invasions the 505th Parachute Infantry was awarded the Presidential unit citation, the unit equivalent of the Medal of Honor awarded to individual soldiers. In the words of author Clay Blair, the paratroopers emerged from Normandy with the reputation of being a pack of jackals, the toughest, most resourceful and bloodthirsty in Europe.
On 17 September 1944, as part of "Operation Market Garden," the 505th Parachute Infantry made its fourth jump at Groesbeck, Holland, the largest airborne assault in history. During that fierce combat, 2 lightly armed platoons, at most 80 men, were surrounded by an entire German Infantry Battalion supported by tanks. The paratroopers fought back 3 savage German assaults and held their ground until relieved. The 505th received a second Presidential unit citation.
Later that winter the airborne troopers were thrown into the breach of the famous " Battle of the Bulge." Despite a lack of cold weather equipment once again airborne spirit, courage, and hard-nosed determination won the day as the 505th Parachute Infantry withstood the bleak winter and stopped the fanatic German attacks cold. For its valor in the 7 major campaigns the 505th was awarded 2 Distinguished Unit Citations and 3 Foreign decorations: the French Forragere, Netherlands Military Order of William, and Belgium Forragere.
After World War II, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In June 1957, the Regiment was reorganized and redesignated as the 505th Infantry and relieved from assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division. On 25 May 1964 , the 505th Infantry was reassigned and redesignated as the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. The Brigade was organized into 3 battalions, 1-505th, 2-505th, and 1-508th Parachute Infantry. At 0200 hours, on 30 April 1965, the 3rd Brigade was alerted for combat as part of "Operation Powerpack," the defense of the Dominican Republic against communist insurgents. Within 18 hours, the first C-130 landed at San Isidro Airfield, Dominican Republic. After 2 months of bitter fighting, the 3rd Brigade returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
On 24 July 1967, the 3rd Brigade deployed to Detroit, Michigan to assist local authorities in quelling a civil disturbance.
Less than a year later, on 12 February 1968, the 3rd Brigade was alerted for deployment to the Republic of Vietnam in response to the Tet Offensive. After 13 months, the Brigade had helped secure the region south of the DMZ and redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in March 1969, the only Brigade of the 82rd Airborne Division to participate in the Vietnam conflict. 3-505th Parachute Infantry was inactivated on 15 December 1969 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and relieved from assignment to the 82d Airborne Division.
On 3 October 1986, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) was reactivated under the auspices of the 3rd Bde with the lst and 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry and the l-508th Parachute Infantry reflagged as the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry.
In December 1989, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry participated in Operation "Just Cause" and assisted in freeing the country of Panama from the dictator Manuel Noriega. Their efforts assisted the country of Panama to pursue its democratic destiny.
In August 1990, the 505th Parachute Infantry was airlifted to Saudi Arabia as a part of Operation "Desert Shield." The 82nd Airborne Division spearheaded a coalition of multinational military forces aimed at deterring further IRAQI aggression and expansion into Saudi Arabia and the enforcement of sanctions against Iraq. The ground phase of operation Desert Storm began 25 February 1991 and saw the Brigade move north to conduct combat operations through the Euphrates River Valley. After 8 months, the Brigade had helped secure US objectives and redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in April 1991.
In September 1994, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment along with the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division was alerted as part of "Operation Restore Democracy." The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was scheduled to make combat parachute jumps into 2 locations in Haiti, Pegasus Drop Zone and Papia Airport, in order to help oust the military led dictatorship and then restore the democratically ejected president. The 82nd's first wave was in the air, with the 505th at Green Ramp loaded on aircrafts awaiting take off. Once the Haitian military dictators verified that the 82nd was on the way to invade, they agreed to step down and averted the invasions.
In June of 2002, the paratroopers of 3rd Brigade were once again called to action. The 3-505th Parachute Infantry deployed to Afghanistan to replace the 101st Airborne in late June 2002. The first paratroopers from the 3-505th Parachute Infantry arrived at Kandahar 27 June 2002. 3-505th Parachute Infantry deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the global war on terrorism.
The 3rd Brigade headquarters assumed command in July of 2002 of a Brigade Combat Team that was comprised of 3-505th Parachute Infantry, 1-505th Parachute Infantry, and 1-504th Parachute Infantry. All 3 battalions executed many different combat operations throughout the country in order to prevent the re-emergence of the Taliban and to deny sanctuary to terrorist groups operating in the region.
While in Afghanistan, the 3-505th Parachute Infantry deployed in mid-September 2002 to Forward Operating Base Salerno, located just north of the City of Khowst. Only a sand bagged perimter and a concrete building existed at the time at the location, resulting in a number of projects, including extending the perimeter, building tent floors and setting up the tents, buiding showers, latrines and an operating field kitchen in addition to installing perimeter guard towers and fighting positions, repairing the field landing strip, and creating a helicopter pad.
While operating out of FOB Salerno, Task Force 3-505th PIR, conducted 27 air assaults and more than 30 combat missions. The unit also managed to recover roughly 214 tons of munitions and also managed to send 12 detainees to the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay.
In January 2006, the 3-505th Parachute Infantry was inactivated as part of the transformation of the 82nd Airborne Division as whole to the US Army's new modular force structure.
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