Obverse Design

The challenge coin has a two insignia in the center, staggered with one in front of the other. The back insignia is the 82nd Airborne Division insignia which consists of a large square with a circle inside. This inside circle has a blue background. Inside the circle are the letters "AA". The inner legs of the "A"'s are vertical and the outside legs are curved. Above the square is a arc banner with a blue background which says "AIRBORNE". The "AA" refers to the nickname "All American Division" which was adopted by the organization in France during World War I. The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment is part of the 82nd Airborne Division.

In front is a shield shape containing the insignia of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. This shield shape has a wide rim and a blue background. The insignia itself consists of a shield with four diagonal lines running from the lower right to the upper left. Crossing the lines is a winged panther, going from the upper right to the lower left. Above this coat of arms is a winged arrow pointing down in front of a cloud. The cloud is colored white. Below this coat of arms is a banner with the motto "H-MINUS". The ends of the banner frame the lower part of the coat of arms. The black panther symbolizes stealth, speed and courage. The wings are added to represent entry into combat via air, and the bendlets (diagonal lines) symbolize the unit's four parachute drops into combat in World War II. The winged arrowhead at the top represents the regiment's first combat attack in Sicily during World War II. The motto "H-Minus" expresses the original philosophy of the parachute idea - that is, to be inserted behind enemy lines prior to H-hour (the scheduled time for the main attack).

The legend along the upper edge of the medal says "505TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT". Along the lower edge of the medal it says in quotes "THE PANTHERS". The coin has a smooth plain raised edge, and a plain and smooth background.

Reverse Design

The central design of the reverse consists of three badges with one in front of the other. The badge in the back and higher up consists of a torch with feathered wings. This is the Pathfinder badge. The middle badge consists of a rifle in a rectangle with a wreath behind the rectangle. This is the Combat Infantryman badge. In front of it and a little lower is a parachute with feathered wings on it. On top of the parachute is a five-point star inside a feathered wreath. This is the badge of a Master Parachutist. Below the badges is a raised smooth rectangle. This is where the name of the receipient can be engraved.

Along the upper edge of the medal it says "VIETNAM WW-II DOMINICAN REPUBLIC". Along the lower edge of the medal it says "PANAMA KUWAIT GRENADA". The coin has a smooth plain raised edge, and a plain and smooth background.

Metal Bronze finish, metal unknown. Weight Unknown. Size and Shape Round, 40 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Unknown, after the Persian Gulf War (1991); perhaps after Operation Restore Hope (1994).
Issuer 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Common. Manufacturer Unknown. Source Plowman Collection.
Varieties This is the only known variety.
Population Count As of November 27, 2002 these are being offered regularly by ebay seller 'dkmilitary' for an opening bid of $10.99 plus $1.50 shipping, and are readily available on ebay.
Historical Note

The 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was activated on July 6, 1942 at Ft. Benning, Georgia. In February 1943 it became part of the newly designated 82nd Airborne Division. In December 1989, Company A of the 3rd Battalion participated in Operation Just Cause. Per the histories I have read, it appears they were a reserve force and were not called upon to engage in combat. In December 1994, the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was once again in Panama as part of "Operation Restore Hope". The 2d Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was sent to Panama in order to restore order. The Battalion participated in the safeguarding of the Cuban Refugees and in active patrolling in and around the refugee camps.