A Review of the book Currahee!
(Written by Donald Burgett in 1967)
(Page numbers from the 2000 Dell Paperback Edition)
First read Currahee! back in 2006 or 2007 and it is
was an interesting read.
Went to my notes about this book and looked into the
following; Burgett’s time in the Co G 541st
Parachute Infantry Regiment in 1943/44 and his time
in Normandy with the Co A 506th Parachute Infantry
101st Airborne Division.
The points referenced above are backed up by
documentation which is always the way to go. His
time in the 541st is especially interesting showing
what happened during his time at Benning and the
plane crash. Pvt Burgett was right on point when he
said that he was very lucky to miss the fateful jump
that killed the men from his barrack.
His book is a good cross section of his time in Co G
541st Parachute Infantry Regiment. The 541st was the
last Regiment to go through as a Regiment.
Pvt Burgett shows up on the
Morning Reports 19 October 1943 because he was
injured in the jump where the Instructor made him
find his own way back to the barracks (page 31). He
was listed as Sick in quarters, which matches up
with his jump injury.
Two days later on
22 October 1943 9 soldiers from Co A and 4
soldiers from Co H were killed when their plane went
down (page 35). The next day Pvt Burgett and 29
other men from Co G
are recycled to start the process over again
(page 35). On 21 November 1943 he
rejoins Co G after graduating from Benning.
Then on 12 January 1944 Morning Reports 70 soldiers
from Co G are transferred as part of
Shipment #G. H. 816-A AGF Replacement Depot and
sent to Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland. This started
the long trip from Mackall to England where Pvt
Burgett became part of a Rifleman 2nd Squad, 2nd
Platoon Co A 506th Parachute Infantry 101st Airborne
Division in March of 1944.
Burgett shows up again this time in the
Payroll Records for Co A 506th 31 May 1944. Then
in his book he talks about 2nd Lieutenant Muir and
his injury (page 96). On the Morning
Report of 14 June 1944 it matches once again
what he speaks of in his book. Also attached is the
showing the type of wound the 2nd Lieutenant
Muir received that also matches up with both the
book and the Morning Report.
Pvt Burgett himself shows up on the
7 July 1944 Morning Report as being MIA 12 June
Medical Report then follows and it once again
matches up with his book. Then he shows up for the
last time on the
18 July Morning Report going from Missing in
Action to Returned to Duty 6 July 1944.
There are two problems though. The first is
that Ambrose was used for Burgett’s forward.
The second is a glaring mistake that calls all of
Burgett's work. On the second page of the
images Burgett identified himself with a circle
around a paratrooper preparing to board a plane.
person Burgett labeled as himself was actually
Lieutenant Colonel Wolverton the Commander of Hq
Co 3rd Bn. We've know for years that it was
Wolverton but Burgett refused to admit his mistake.
Burgett's Battalion left from Upottery Airfield.
The Group was the 439th and the Squadron's were
labeled L4, J8, 3B, D8 on the plane.
The iconic picture was taken at the Exeter Airfield.
The Group was the 440th and the Squadron painted on
that plane was 8Y. If Burgett made that basic
mistake what else in his book was wrong?
Brian N. Siddall
June 13, 2018