THE CURRAHEE MOUNTAIN, ALTITUDE 1900 FEET; ON U.S. HIGHWAY NO. 123 NEAR TOCCOA, GA
|The 506th traces its ancestry back to July 1942,
when it was activated at Camp Toombs,
Toccoa, GA, under the command of Colonel Robert F. Sink,
who later retired as a Lieutenant General. Colonel Sink trained
the men in these northeastern Georgia hills, putting them through
one of the roughest physical training programs in the Army. Here
the men worked a 12-hour day, doing push-ups, pull-ups, squat
jumps, and various other exercises designed to strengthen arms
and legs, and increase overall endurance.
As part of their physical training, the men ran daily to the top of Currahee Mountain, and then made long forced marches at night, or negotiated a night compass course. Here, also, the men were to go through the roughest obstacle course in the United States Army.
In addition to the rough physical training, the men also completed the "A" Stage training for jump school. Here they became potential paratroopers, undergoing various ground training, including much work in the 34-foot tower.
In November 1942, with the "A" Stage training behind them, the 506th was ordered to Fort Benning, GA, for parachute training. The 1st Battalion moved by train from Camp Toccoa to Fort Benning. The 2nd Battalion marched from Camp Toccoa to Atlanta, GA, a distance of 115 miles, where they boarded trains for the remainder of the trip. The 3rd Battalion traveled to Atlanta by rail, and then marched the remaining 136 miles to Benning, thus setting a new world's record for an endurance march, previously held by the Japanese Army. The crew-served weapons were passed from man to man in order to equally distribute the load during the long march.
|Historical sign installed May 2002 near the Jeanette
Jamison Intersection of State Highway
365 and State Highway 184, as the result of efforts of Georgia State Representative Jeanette
Jamison and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
|A steep three-mile unpaved U.S. Forest Service road leads to the top of Currahee Mountain. To reach this road from the town of Toccoa, GA, take Highway 123 South about four miles to Jeanette Jamison Intersection, which is the intersection of Highway 123 with Highways 17 and 365. At this intersection, do not turn right on Highway 123; instead, go straight across onto Highway 184. After about 500 yards, Highway 184 turns left, but, once again, stay straight, driving onto Dick's Hill Parkway (known locally as Old Highway 123). Travel about two miles to get to the COL Robert F. Sink Memorial Trail roadside marker at the bottom of the road that leads to the top of the mountain.|