Determination is the word that stirs memories for Trooper Walter Morris when he talks about the “Triple Nickles,” the Army’s first black parachute unit.
Morris, 91, was among the first soldiers trained at Fort Benning after the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was activated in December 1943. On Thursday, he joined about 200 other soldiers and members of the 555th Parachute Infantry Association to dedicate a monument at the National Infantry Museum Memorial Walk of Honor.
“I’m so glad to be here to see this day,” said Morris, of Palm Coast, Fla.
The dedication came on the 33rd reunion of the association, the nonprofit group dedicated to keeping alive the history of the “Triple Nickles.”
The monument records the history of the unit from it beginning in 1943, said John Wilder, president of the Richard W. Williams Chapter of the 555th Parachute Infantry Association. “It kind of paved the way for us younger guys,” said Wilder, a retired sergeant first class and former instructor at Fort Benning. “Now it’s part of history.”