Ranger Harvey James Cook – 2HQ


Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart w/Oak Leaf Cluster

A distinguished member of the 2nd Battalion of World War II Rangers. He was also a retired Army Colonel. Colonel Cook was born April 2, 1918 in Philadelphia, growing up in Narberth, PA. There he shared his father’s passion for baseball and graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1936, then Michigan State College in 1940 where he played varsity baseball while earning a BA in Business Administration.

Colonel Cook was commissioned a second lieutenant and entered active duty in October 1941. His first duty station was Camp Richie, MD, where he taught hand-to-hand combat. There he was recruited by the 2nd Ranger Battalion as an intelligence officer. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, then Captain Cook joined other Rangers to scale the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He was again cited for bravery while participating in small-unit combat operations in the Battle of the Bulge and Heurtgen Forest where he was twice awarded the Bronze Star for valor. At war’s end, he was in Plazen, Czechoslovakia along with other members of the 2nd Rangers awaiting orders back to the United States.

Following World War II, Colonel Cook attended the Army’s Advanced Infantry School and the Army Language School where he studied Japanese. He was in Fukuoka, Japan at the outbreak of the Korean War. Colonel Cook saw combat in Korea with the 24th Infantry Division and once again was cited for valor earning yet another Bronze Star. Due to an injury he was eventually returned to the United States to recuperate and await orders to Germany. Once in post-war Germany Cook was assigned to the Intelligence Director at US Army Headquarters in Heidelberg and later Stuttgart.

Colonel Cook served in the Pentagon on the Army General Staff until he was selected to command an Army air defense artillery battalion. This spit-and-polish outfit was responsible for the air defense of the national capital region. Command came naturally for the colonel and his unit achieved unprecedented results on inspections and evaluations. In 1961, he was assigned to the Intelligence Division, NATO Headquarters at Fontainebleau, France, until his return to Fort Holabird, MD in 1964. There he headed the National Agency Check Center, the military clearinghouse for vetting personal security clearances. In 1967, Colonel Cook was again sent into harm’s way, this time to Vietnam as Chief of Military Intelligence for the Military Assistance Command. In 1968, Colonel Cook was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where he served on the Pacific Army General staff. After more than 30 years, his final assignment brought him full circle for Narberth to Valley Forge Military Hospital. Colonel Cook retired from the Army in 1972 after having served the nation for more than 32 years.

Harvey Cook will be remembered by his family and many friends as having a wonderful sense of humor. He could get into a fit of laughter that was contagious. passion for baseball, especially the Phillies, never diminished. He was also an avid reader of Military History. Colonel Cook was a Mason and member of the Central Presbyterian Church, Downingtown, as well as the Lion’s Club. He served the community as a valued citizen, his country as a patriot-soldier and God as faithful-serving Christian. He, as so many of this greatest generation”fought evil because they would not live with the consequences of being bystanders. In a world of fear and terror, we owe them much. But most of all, he was a good husband and father who will be missed greatly by those who survive him.

Bonnie, his wife of 63 years, and Harvey met on a blind date at Michigan State in 1939. They enjoyed a full, adventurous life together living and traveling all over the world. One of their favorite pastimes was playing golf on winter vacations to Myrtle Beach. Through all the moves and excitement, they raised four children, had six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

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