Some Ranger Lineage Info

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garyedolan
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Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by garyedolan »

This is a little about the lineage of today's Ranger Battalions and the whereabouts of the 75th Infantry during WWII. Some confusion exists about this since all of today's Ranger Battalions bear the designation: 75th Infantry. While five of the original Ranger Battalions fought in Europe, one also distinguished itself in the Pacific. Then COL Truscott established the Rangers in June 1942, patterning them after the British Commando units he had observed. On his promotion to BG to ready forces for Operation Torch, command of the newly established 1st BN fell to Darby.

75th Ranger Regiment didn't exist in WWII. Darby was the original 1st Ranger Battalion commander and later the commander of the ad hoc Ranger Force or Force X which included 1st, 3rd, and 4th Ranger Battalions along with an Airborne Regiment and various fire support elements. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Ranger Battalions fought through Africa, Sicily, and Italy until Anzio where the force was ambushed and reduced to part of the 4th Battalion. 4th Battalion and survivors of 1st and 3rd were sent back to the US (the veterans of the original 1st Battalion) and disbanded, with the newer Rangers reassigned to the 1st Special Service Force. The 2nd and 5th Rangers were the storied heroes of the D-Day invasion and fought through Western Europe. The 6th Ranger Battalion fought in the Pacific Theater, primarily in the Philippines. They captured islands prior to the invasion, rescued the Cabanatuan POWs, and in a little known effort, marched 300 miles north to secure a drop zone for an Airborne division parachute insertion (Special Forces veterans of Vietnam will recognize the concept). 6th Ranger Battalion was the only Ranger Battalion to be used for missions dedicated to Ranger tactics. As far as cliffs, Rangers climbed at El Guettar (not as bad as the one at Normandy but was at night) and Pointe du Hoc (Normandy). First Special Service Force climbed a cliff in Italy (not Monte Casino) which was made famous in a movie called, I believe, "The Devils' Brigade".

The 6th Ranger Battalion marched behind enemy lines to secure the drop zone for the 11th Airborne Division at Aparri. For some reason this isn't mentioned much. SF units did the same thing (minus the 300 mile march behind enemy lines) for the only U.S. mass tactical jump in VN.

Then COL Truscott planned and executed the formation of the Rangers at the request of General Marshall. It was General Hartle, Commander of the 34th Division and later 5th Corps who provided his aide, Captain Darby, to be the Rangers' first commander. In an irony of war, it was General Truscott who, two years later, ordered the attack on Cisterna near Anzio which led to the destruction of Darby's Rangers.

Today's Ranger Regiment bears the designation 75th Infantry thanks to the initiative of LTG (ret) David Grange, who as Ranger Department director in the early 'Seventies sought and won DA approval to link today's Rangers to Merrill's Marauders, the 5307th Composite Unit which fought so gallantly in Burma, under the command of BG Frank D. Merrill, USMA '29. Today the Mountain Ranger Camp proudly bears his name. In 1944, the 5307th, was designated the 475th Infantry. This unit was re-designated the 75th Inf in 1954 to which all the Ranger companies in VN were eventually linked. The 75th Infantry crest, fashioned after the Marauder's patch (below), bears the Koumintang sun symbol from the Nationalist Chinese flag as well as the star of Burma, reflecting its history in China-Burma-India theatre. The Regimental crest and flash incorporate the four colors by which Merrill's Marauders combat teams were known: red, white, blue, green, orange and khaki.
In the ETO, COL (later BG) William O. Darby, USMA '33, formed the Ranger Force, establishing the 1st, 3rd and 4th battalions in 1942 for the invasion of North Africa and the Italian Campaign. As is well known, the 2nd and 5th Ranger battalions landed at Normandy on 6 June 1944. While the 2nd battalion scaled the Pointe du Hoc under the command of LtC James Rudder (for whom the Florida Ranger Camp is now named), the 5th Battalion led by LtC Max Schneider breached the formidable German sea wall defenses for the 29th Div. Today's "Rangers Lead the Way" slogan stems from an encounter Schneider had during H-Hour on Omaha beach with the ADC of the 29th Div, BG Norman D. Cota, USMA '17. On Cota's asking, "What outfit is this?" someone yelled "5th Rangers." Cota then gave the famous reply, "Well, godammit then Rangers, Lead the Way!" [NB: The actual Regimental motto is Sua Sponte (Of Their Own Accord)]

In the Pacific, the 6th Ranger Battalion was formed in New Guinea from a pack artillery battalion by then MAJ William Mucci, USMA '37, who turned muleskinners and ridge runners into skilled Rangers. They participated in the Leyte invasion, seized the islands at the entrance to the Lingayen Gulf for landings on Luzon and in their most famous action, conducted the raid to free the remaining American and Filipino POW's at Cabanatuan, still considered one of the most successful raid operations in U.S. military history.

There is information on the 29th Ranger Battalion, formed from members of the 29th Infantry Division, in Korean Ranger Bob Black's book, Rangers In World War II
http://www.amazon.com/Rangers-World-War ... 0804105650
I believe they were formed in December 1942 and trained at Achnacarry, Scotland, where the British Commandos trained, in Feb 1943. Ten officers and 166 enlisted (supposedly called by the British as "2nd Ranger Battalion" but labeled as 29th Ranger Battalion by U S Army).
Initially HQ and A and B Companies
Bn CO was LTC Millholland
In April 1943 Darby reportedly tried to get members of the 29th Ranger Battalion to fill the ranks of the 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions but was forced to go instead to replacement centers.
In August 1943, despite being in a provisional status with no official TO&E, the 29th Ranger Battalion now had HQ Company and four Ranger Companies. Two of their Rangers went with the Commandos on a raid off the coast of France.
The 29th Ranger Battalion was preparing for a larger raid before it was disbanded on October 18th, 1943 subsequent to the formation of the 2nd Ranger Battalion in April 1943 and the 5th Ranger Battalion in September 1943.
More on the 29th Ranger Battalion is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29th_Range ... _States%29. As with the other Ranger Battalions, they had a distinctive Ranger Tab but I am having problems re-finding it... A I remember it was the 29th Infantry Division patch with the word, Ranger, beneath.
Today, only the six, official TO&E Ranger Battalions are part of the Ranger Battalions Association of World War II ( http://www.wwiirangers.org/) and in our data base of World War II Rangers (http://www.rangerroster.org) - much to the frustration of members of the 29th Ranger Battalion and their descendants! To a man, the members of the RBA are a very stubborn bunch so this will probably not change.

After the war, Ranger units were disbanded. Ranger training as we know it was reinstated at Ft Benning in 1950 by then LtC John Singlaub and fifteen Ranger companies were formed during the Korean war, the precursors to our Vietnam Ranger companies. When Co C (Ranger), 75th Inf (Airborne) stood down in Viet-Nam, it was reactivated as the aggressor force for Ranger School at Ft. Benning. Pursuant to the directives of GEN Abrams, who after studying the effectiveness of the Ranger units in Viet-Nam wanted to create an elite Ranger unit, the colors of Charlie Rangers along with A/75th, which was in Texas, were used to establish the 1st BN, 75th RR. Then CPT Robert Howard, the highest decorated soldier from the Viet-Nam conflict, was purposely selected as the final Company Commander of Charlie Rangers. In July 1974, then LTC Ken Leuer formed the 1st Ranger BN, at Ft Benning, subsequently moving to its present home at Hunter Army Air Field outside Savannah. B/75th and O/75th went to Ft. Lewis, WA, to form up 2/75th that October. Ten years later, the 3rd Battalion was established at Ft Benning along with the Regimental headquarters and the regiment was formally designated the 75th Infantry (Ranger) under the command of then COL Wayne Downing, USMA '62, who subsequently rose to 4-star rank, retiring as SOCOM commander in 1996.

COMPANY E (LRP), 20TH INF (ABN) AND COMPANY C (RANGER), 75TH INF (ABN)
This deals with the activities, personnel, and accomplishments of Company C (Ranger), 75th infantry during the period 1 February 1969 through October 1971, and Company E (Long Range Patrol) 20th Infantry (Airborne) from 25 September 1967 through 1 February 1969 which preceded the designation ...of Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry.
Throughout history the need for a small, highly trained, far ranging unit to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and special type combat missions has been readily apparent.
In Vietnam, this need was met by instituting a Long Range Patrol program to provide each major combat unit with this special capability.
Rather than create an entirely new unit designation for such an elite force, the Department of the Army looked to its rich and varied heritage and on 1 February 1969 designated the 75th Infantry Regiment, the present successor to the famous 5307th Composite Unit (Merrill's Marauders) as the parent organization for all Department of the Army designated Long Range Patrol (LRP) units. The parenthetical designation (Ranger) in lieu of (LRP) was given and the units were identified by letters. As a result, Company E (LRP), 20th Infantry (Abn), assigned to First Field Force Vietnam became Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry. The 5307th was organized on 3 October 1943, and trained for deep penetration missions behind enemy lines in Japanese-held Burma. On 10 August 1944, the 5307th was consolidated with the 475th and the combined unit was designated the 475th Infantry Regiment and was designated as a long range penetrating force. The 475th was inactivated on 1 July 1945 in China. On 21 June 1954, the 475th was redesignated the 75th Infantry Regiment and activated in Okinawa on 20 November 1954 and remained active until 21 March 1956.
This banner bearing the seal of the Department of the Army War Office hung in the Co C Orderly Room in Ahn Khe. It read as follows:
“DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
This is to certify that the 75TH INFANTRY whose special designation has become traditional through its many years of loyal, faithful, and distinguished service, is herewith recognized as having earned the honor and right to the TRADITIONAL DESIGNATION "MERRILL'S MARAUDERS"
Given Under My Hand in the City of Washington the 15th day of September 1969.”
It is signed by the Secretary of the Army.
Gary "28"
Co C (RGR), 75 Inf (ABN) '70-'71
USMA 69; RGR 4-70; RHOF-2011
http://oftheirownaccord.com

"Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be." Douglas MacArthur

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Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by CharlieRanger1FFV »

Thanks for posting, Lt.


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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by fatboy »

Here's a question that someone smart on lineage can maybe answer: with the transition from LRP/ LRRP to Ranger to LRSD/ LRSC and now Pathfinder, is there something linking historic Pathfinder companies to historic Ranger type units? Or any current Pathfinder units to Ranger lineage?
Case in point- 101st LRS was "disbanded" around 2005 (plus or minus) and re-organized as a pathfinder company. From what I was told, it was the same organization with the teams, just a name change. And that differed from the other "original" 101st Pathfinder company, who were set up in 2 platoons, with multiple teams in each specializing in either traditional Pathfinder activities or CSAR. The 82nd also has a Pathfinder unit now, and I believe 10th MTN as well, all of which came from the lettered 51st Infantry companies (I think that was the LRS parent unit, however whiskey and CRS has set in so I could be completely off on that).
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by JamesGarafalo »

Thank you Ranger Gary E. Dolan
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by Nico14 »

Thank you for the information Ranger garyedolan.
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by TyDolla »

Thank you Ranger garyedolan.
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by vagabondchavez »

Thank you Ranger garyedolan.
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by SouthPaw »

Thank you for this information, Ranger garyedolan.
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by val1234 »

Thank you, Ranger garyedolan
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by garyedolan »

I am so grateful for the existence of the 75th Ranger Regiment, without which those of us who served in the 75th in Vietnam would never have been accorded any respect.
Gary "28"
Co C (RGR), 75 Inf (ABN) '70-'71
USMA 69; RGR 4-70; RHOF-2011
http://oftheirownaccord.com

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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by Carpenter »

Thank you Ranger garyedolan for your dedication of preserving the history and lineage of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by HWF157 »

Thank you Ranger garyedolan.
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Re: Some Ranger Lineage Info

Post by CVSpartan7 »

Thank you, Ranger garyedolan.
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