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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 Medical Report 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 1944. His 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. 

The 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


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