The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was activated July 6, 1942, at Fort Benning, Georgia. On 4 February 1943, the Regiment was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, arriving at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on February 12, 1943.
During World War II, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment participated in seven major campaigns and four regimental airborne assaults.
On July 9, 1943 the 505th PIR made its first regimental combat parachute attack, landing behind enemy lines at Gela, Sicily. The 505th conducted its second combat parachute attack September 14, 1943 into Salerno.
Paratroopers of the 505th and 508th PIRs jumped at 0300 hours June 6, 1944 onto the Normandy Peninsula, with Pathfinder elements jumping prior to the actual start of the invasion.
For their performance in the invasion, the 505th PIR received the Presidential Unit Citation, the unit equivalent of the Medal of Honor.
The regiment’s fourth combat jump came September 17, 1944 into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden. For actions there, the 505th PIR received a second Presidential Unit Citation. Later, the airborne troopers fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
For its valor in the seven major campaigns the 505th was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations and three foreign decorations: the French Fourragere, Netherlands Military Order of William, and Belgium Fourragere. After World War II, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment returned to Fort Bragg.
In the coming decades, the 505th PIR remained one of the Army’s forces-of-choice to deploy in support of world-wide contingency operations. Deployments occurred in 1965 for Operation Power Pack, in 1968 to Vietnam, in 1983 as part of Operation Urgent Fury and in 1989 as part of Operation Just Cause. In 1990, the brigade deployed as part of Operation Desert Storm.
The brigade’s most recent short-notice deployment occurred in September 2005 to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Elements from the brigade have deployed seven separate times to Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
From January 2017 to July 2018, the Panther Brigade stood ready to deploy at a moments notice as part of the nation’s Global Response Force for an unprecedented eighteen months.
The Panther Brigade remains ready to answer our nation’s call to jump, fight and win on any drop zone in the world.