Band of Brothers: Camp Toccoa Museum

In October 2012 I had the pleasure of visiting the Camp Toccoa Museum in Georgia.  That’s where the paratroopers of Easy Company, 506th Infantry Regiment, of Band of Brothers fame received their training.

The museum was tiny but very cool and contained a lot of memorabilia, not only of the World War II years but of the history of the town of Toccoa.  Still, it’s Band of Brothers that put them on the map, and did so much more for the rest of us, too.   As the show was advertised, “There was a time when ordinary men did extraordinary things.”  Tom Hanks, wherever you are, thank you so much for making their story into a miniseries!

Here are a few of the many photos of the actual site of the camp.  My friend Karen Thomas took the first one.

The view from the top of Curahee.

Me at Camp Toccoa.

The troop’s motto was “Currahee,” after this mountain.  It means, “We stand alone together.”  During the Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of Bastogne, and more, they sure did.  Here is the real Currahee Mountain that they had to climb during training.  Let me tell you, I don’t usually find car rides to be even remotely scary, but just being a passenger in the car getting driven up there was terrifying, thanks to the sharp angles of these roads, so I can hardly imagine running up this all but impossible incline!

The real Currahee Mountain that the men used to climb for exercise - no wonder they were in such great shape!

The real Currahee Mountain that the men used to climb for exercise – no wonder they were in such great shape!

The view from the top of Currahee:

At the top of Currahee.  What a view!

At the top of Currahee. What a view!

Here’s Camp Drive.  I love the paratrooper sign:

Camp Drive.

Camp Drive.

An exhibit of a paratrooper with his parachute.  I still can’t get over how these good men were dropped into Nazi Occupied territory, with 70 pounds of gear strapped to their bodies, radios that only broadcast for five miles – and pulled off the Liberation of Europe!

Model of a paratrooper with his gear and chute.

Model of a paratrooper with his gear and parachute.

The actual stables where the unit was billeted in England.  I was happy those were brought over and put in the museum.

The actual stables where the unit was billeted in England.

The actual stables where the unit was billeted in England.

Memorial flowers left at the troop’s monument.

Flowers left at the memorial.

Flowers left at the memorial.  Thank you for a job well done!

They say they don’t make men like they used to.  I’d like to think that’s mainly because the time period now, and the circumstances that exist in the world, are so different than it was then – thank God there’s no longer a Hirohito or a Hitler –  but I bet there are still guys like this out there somewhere.  Someday I’d love to meet men with the strength, the guts, and the fortitude of the Band of Brothers!  

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