Pictured here swaggering down the streets of are “tougher than a 30-cent steak” PVT Gilberto C. "Slick" Sepulveda of El Paso, TX and S/SGT George Cushwa of Roxboro, North Carolina. Both were highly respected within D Company and my grandfather, 1LT Andrew Carrico said of George, “he was a helluva nice guy.”
It was said that you could tell a 511th PIR Angel from blocks away by the angled set of their garrison caps, many with a silver dollar sewn behind their service patch to weight the cap forward and these two paratroopers fit the description to a T.
The boys of the 511th PIR enjoyed Camp Mackall's superior facilities when not out on several-day bivouacs or long marches. Out of 12,000 volunteers, only 2,176 remained, having passed (i.e. survived) Colonel Orin Haugen's strict acceptance guidelines. At Mackall the soldiers practiced field problems and got to know the other units in their mother organization, the 11th Airborne Division under Major-General Joseph May Swing.