Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, the “Screaming Eagles”, is one of the most well-known companies in the United States Army, and personaly my favorite. Their experiences in World War II are the subject of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers based on the book of the same name by historian Stephen Ambrose. In 2009, twenty of the last few remaining survivors from Easy Company recounted their stories in the oral-history book project We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories From the Band of Brothers.
The 506th PIR was an experimental airborne regiment created in 1942 atCamp Toccoa, Georgia. Easy Company missions were to involve being parachuted fromC-47transport airplanes over hostile territory.
Major Richard Winters described the original organization of Easy company as follows:
“[Easy] company included three rifle platoons and a headquarters section. Each platoon contained three twelve-man rifle squads and a six-man mortar team squad. Easy also had one machine gun attached to each of its rifle squads, and a 60mm mortar in each mortar team.”
The training was not easy. Besides attending the standard airborne school, the unit had to perform battle drills and excruciating amounts of physical training. One of the more famous exercises was the regular running ofCurrahee, a large, steep hill. The phrase “3 miles up, 3 miles down” was derived from this run. Easy Company, while training at Toccoa, was under the command ofHerbert Sobel, who was known for his extreme strictness.
Also as part of their physical training, the members of Easy Company performed formation runs in three-four column running groups. The purpose of this training was to push the soldiers to their limits, and to teach them how to work together as a team.
Oh and don’t worry if i start spamming you with Band of Brothers stuff, ever since i had my box set stolen i’ve been a little batty.
Camp Toccoa home of Easy company
Another museum featuring the history of Easy Company and all WWII paratroopers, located in Normandy.