Ranger Owen B. Sanders Jr.
Army Serial Number:
Owen Sanders was with the 4th Ranger Battalion. After Anzio and Cisterna, the 1-3-4 Ranger Battalions were inactivated. Those Rangers lacking sufficient points to be sent home went into the First Special Service Force that went on to Rome.
On May 22, 1944 Ranger Sanders was killed in action. This was weeks before his second cousin, Ranger Albert Sanders lost his life in the same unit. Their great-grandfathers were brothers, and ironically, the Sanders boys, two generations later, lived and died together as 4th Battalion Ranger Brothers. Owen's older brothers, Rex (Navy CB), John (Army Engineer), and Robert (Army and Mitchell's father), were serving on Active Duty at the time of Owen and Albert's deaths. Both went into the FSSF after the disaster at Cisterna, but they were always Rangers at heart.
My Mother has always told us that Owen was a Scout, after reading Rangers in World War II, I now realize what that meant. In an Eleven-man Assault Section, two of these were Scouts (privates). To me this makes the Old Family Story clearer. When he was wounded, he returned to the Assault Team and chose to stay with them, rather than return to base.
Honored by nieces, nephews, and cousins!
Ranger Sanders is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Nettuno, Italy
Plot J, Row 3, Grave 11
Below are the contents of a certificate signed by FDR and sent to his mother in his memory. The certificate states that he was KIA in North Africa, when in fact he was KIA near Rome long after the African Campaign. We have no explanation for the discrepancy in this certificate.