A brief introduction and history of the exploits of the WW II Rangers
At the time the U.S. became involved in WWII, most of Europe was engulfed and occupied by Nazi German troops. The First Ranger Battalion was formed at the onset of U.S. involvement in this conflict as an elite unit modeled after the British Commandos. They were highly and rigorously trained to attack in the dead of night from the least likely route.
The Rangers were trained in cliff climbing and speed marches enabling them to infiltrate deep behind enemy lines on foot. Their surprise night attacks often followed 30 mile treks deep into enemy territory. They were also trained in amphibious landings where they would infiltrate from the sea.
This highly trained soldier was strictly volunteer. Each was chosen not only on his merits of physical strength and endurance, but also for his intelligence and ability to think on his feet. The Ranger was expected to act independently and also survive on nothing more than his wits, while accomplishing operations miles behind enemy lines.
There were six Ranger Battalions during WWII. Each Battalion was comprised of approximately 500 men. Of the more than 15 million people who served in the armed forces in WWII, only 3000 were Rangers (estimated at 6000-7000 with replacements). Every Ranger sees himself as a part of one unit, the Band of Ranger Brothers.
These men are legends and heroes. If you are the relative of one of these extraordinary Rangers, you are one of the fortunate few. This is a glowing part of your heritage. Be proud!
The U.S. Army Ranger is alive and well in our contemporary military. Today's Rangers are known as the 75th Ranger Regiment and are the first line of defense for the U.S. These Rangers follow in the footsteps of their mentors and heroes, the WWII Rangers. Today's soldier carries the responsibility to uphold the tradition and integrity of their WWII counterparts. They do so with honor, pride, and privilege.
A brief history of each Battalion is included on this web site to help you realize the significant role your Ranger's Battalion played in WWII. The Descendants of World War II Rangers wish to thank the Rangers who have summarized each Battalion's history as only a Ranger can. We are honored to have these histories in their own words and wish to thank each of them for the time they put into documenting them.