Iron Mike

Iron Mike Statue

Iron Mike

Iron Mike on the Currahee Rocks.

The Iron Mike Statue that stands in front of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum stands at 16’4″ tall and weighs 3,235 pounds, and is meant to represent a paratrooper that has just jumped into battle in WWII.   This version of Iron Mike is dedicated to all paratroopers: past, present, and future.  He was sculpted by Leah Hiebert, appointed by LTG Sink, in 1960 and 1961, using SGM James Runyon as a model for the WWII-era Paratrooper. LTG Sink decided on the pose, uniform and gear that Iron Mike would wear, wanting him to resemble the artwork from the cover of Ross Carter’s book, “Devils in Baggy Pants”.   He is made from polyester strips dipped in epoxy that have been stretched over a steel frame.   Originally installed at the southern entrance of Fort Bragg at the Knox Gate, he was later replaced with a bronze replica that now stands in the traffic circle in front of the Post Headquarters since 1979.  On 14 June 2010, the original was refurbished and placed in front of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.

Begun in 2014, The “Mike to Mike” Half Marathon  and All American Marathon take place in Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg, starting near the original Iron Mike Statue in front of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in  Historic Downtown Fayetteville, finishing near the replica Iron Mike Statue on Fort Bragg.


Currahee Rocks

The rocks at the base of the Iron Mike Statue have great significance.  They were brought in from the the famed Currahee Mountain, where the first paratroopers of the 101st and 11th Airborne were trained at Camp Toccoa.  Here, over 17,000 soldiers reported, trained, and successfully became paratroopers during WWII.  Numerous highly-decorated units trained at Toccoa, one of which was featured in Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers.  Paratroopers would run “3 miles up, 3 miles down” this mountain for training.  Today, “Currahee” is the motto of the 506th Infantry Regiment.

Currahee Rocks

Currahee Rocks Plaque at the base of the Iron Mike Statue.

The inscription on the rocks says:

The rock base beneath Iron Mike has its own story.  In July 1942 over 5,000 men arrived at Camp Toccoa for training as a new type of soldier, a Paratrooper.  Over the next few years over 17,000 soldiers of the 501st, 506th, 511th and the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiments trained at Camp Toccoa. 

These boulders were acquired with the assistance of the landowner, the US Army and the city of Fayetteville from the storied Currahee Mountain in Toccoa, Georgia.  Today “Currahee” is the motto of the 506th PIR.

“Currahee is a Native American word that means “Stand Alone”. 

Paratroopers “Stand Alone” as they drop behind enemy lines. 

Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation
100 Bragg Blvd.
Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301
(910) 643-2778
Museum Hours
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Closed Mondays and Federal Holidays
Open Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran’s Day

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation supports the museum with marketing, advertising and financial support for its programs and exhibits. Opening the doors on August 16th, 2000, the 60th anniversary of the original United States Army’s Test Platoon’s first parachute jump, the museum offers free admission, a main exhibit gallery, temporary gallery, four-story tall theater, video theater and a motion simulator ride. It is located in Historic Downtown Fayetteville on the corner of Bragg Boulevard and Hay Street, adjacent to the city’s Freedom Memorial Park and the recently built North Carolina Veteran’s Park. The main gallery is designed as a self-guiding tour, in chronological order, through the history of the airborne and special operations soldiers, from 1940 to the present. The temporary gallery changes throughout the year and displays a myriad of exhibits pertaining to the United States Army, airborne and special operation units through their history and conflicts from World War II to the present. For a nominal fee visitors can ride the 24 seat motion simulator. Find our privacy policy here.

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