The Mountain of Currahee has become synonymous with the paratroopers of Colonel Sink’s 506th U.S. Parachute Infantry Regiment and in particular the now famous men of Easy Company, who were immortalised by Stephen Ambrose’s book and HBO’s mini-series, ‘The Band of Brothers.’
Currahee, and Camp Toccoa located at the mountain’s foot were the symbolic birth place of the 506th - it was where most of the men were trained and learned to become soldiers. In 1942 at the height of the Second World War, between July and November, the 506th were stationed here in Georgia and as part of their gruelling physical basic training regime, they were repeatedly forced to run the three miles up and down the mountain of Currahee, sometimes in full battle-dress. The men became so good at doing this that they could complete this arduous task within 50 minutes. They also as a symbol of both their defiance and to show that they could overcome any task put in front of them, adopted the name ‘Currahee’ as their regimental battle-cry during the war.
But it was not just Easy Company and the 506th that passed under the watching gaze of Currahee’s shadow, this area was a hive of activity during the war as thousands of prospective U.S. paratroopers were put through their paces at Camp Toccoa between 1942 - 1944. Currahee - originally derived in part from a native American word, which is believed to roughly translate as ‘Stands Alone’ - left its mark on each and every man from the 501st, 511th and 517th Parachute Infantry Regiments who also went through their basic training here and were frequently subjected to running the mountain’s exhausting 6 miles roundtrip.