We are currently improving the navigational structure of the website. This might result in lost links. If you come across a lost link, Please let us know.

Operations U.S. Army Rangers

Page Created
June 13th, 2022
Last Updated
June 25th, 2022
United States
US Flag
Additional Information
U.S. Army Rangers
Order of Battle

Interactive Page

August 19th, 1942

Operation Jubilee. Raid on Dieppe, France. Ranger detachment of six officers and forty-four enlisted men are attached to No. 3 Commando and No. 4 Commando. Six Rangers, including two officers are killed, seven enlisted men are wounded, and four enlisted men are captured.

November 8th, 1942 – November 8th, 1942

Operation Torch. Landing at port of Arzew, Algeria. Protect the landing beaches from two batteries which threaten the main landing beaches. 1st Ranger Battalion. After landing companies A and B go straight into the harbour and take the smaller fort. The remaining companies landed seven kilometres to the north-west and take the larger battery from the rear. The unit suffers two dead and eight wounded. After completing their main missions, detached companies then assist 1st Infantry Division to secure several nearby towns.

February 12th, 1943 – February 13th, 1943

Raid on Sened Station. Companies A, E, and F. The companies march thirteen kilometres before reaching their objective. They camouflage themselves with shelter halves and bushes during the day and hide during the day. The next night the Rangers march another 6,5 kilometres and move behind the Italian battle position. Just before midnight, they start a bayonet attack and drive the 10th Bersaglieri Regiment off the position. In the proces they capture an antitank gun and five machineguns. They kill seventy-five Italians and take eleven Italians prisoner. The unit suffers one killed and ten wounded itself.

March 20th, 1943

Seize of the Djebel el Ank pass, high grounds near El Guettar. 1st Ranger Battalion. The complete unit with mortars and engineers attached march sixteen kilometres at night before reaching their objective. Just before break of day, the men move into the enemy positions surprising the Italians from the rear. The assault clears the El Guettar Pass. The unit captures over one thousand prisoners.


March 23rd, 1943

Operation Roundabout. Raid on the bridge of Stadlandet Fjord, Norway. Commanded by Captain Gilchrist of No. 12 Commando and two his men, four Norwegian soldiers from No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando and Lieutenant-Colonel Millholland and four men from the 29th Ranger Battalion. The raid was abandoned when one of the Norwegians dropped the magazine for his machine gun, alerting a German Patrol.


July 10th, 1943 – August 17th, 1943

Operation Husky. Invasion of Sicily, Italy. Ranger Force attached to the 1st and 3rd Infantry Division. The 1st and 4th Ranger Battalions land on the defended beach of Gela. They clear the coastal defences, take Gela, and defeat a few armoured counterattacks. They then go on to take the San Nicola fortress and the town of Butera. The 3rd Ranger Battalion conducts an unopposed landing near Licata. They secure the beach and take the towns of Montaperto and Porto Empedocle. After the initial actions, the three battalions reunite and together with the 39th Infantry Regiment they form X Force under Lieutenant-Colonel Darby’s Command. X Force is one of the attacking columns tasked with sweeping around the western end of Sicily, to get to Palermo. The 1st and 4th Ranger Battalion are placed in reserve. The 3rd Ranger Battalion accompanies X Force as far as Menfi, where they were again attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. They continue the drive to cut off the enemy’s retreat from the North-eastern end of the island to Italy. Used as assault troops, they assist in reaching the town of Messina, which is captured on August 17th, 1943.


September 3rd, 1943 – September 4th, 1943

Operation Pond. Raid on Ile d’Ouessant, France. Two men of the 29th Ranger Battalion attached to No. 12 Commando. There are sources that say that Millholland led the raid. The unit destroys a German radar post and Millholland leaves his rifle symbolically stabbed into the ground with his helmet liner on top to send the message that the Americans had been there and would return. Two German are confirmed to be killed during the raid.


September 9th, 1943 – October 6th, 1943

Operation Avalanche. Secure the Western flank of the
invasion beachhead, Salerno, Italy. Ranger Force. The unit lands unopposed on Maiori on the Sorrento Peninsula 16 kilometres West of Salerno. The 1st and 3rd Battalion move North to secure the Chiunzi Pass. The 4th Battalion secures the beach and West flank. Then the 4th Battalion moves West to Amalfi and North to Castellammare while the other two battalions prevented the Germans from reoccupying the critical peninsula. Until the end of the month the battle goes over and forth until the Allies break out of the main beachhead. The Ranger Force takes Pagani and Castellammare and supports the drive to Naples.

October 6th, 1943December 1943

After a brief period of rest, the 1st Battalion is attached
to the 45th Infantry Division while the 4th Battalion is attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. The 3rd battalion which has suffered most casualties, continues training replacements. The 1st Battalion is involved in prolonged mountain fighting in the Venafro area. This goes
on for weeks, and they are joined by the 4th Battalion. Late November the 3rd battalion is active in the San Pietro area, first attached to the 45th Infantry Division and then to the 36th Infantry Division. In December, the Rangers were disengaged and moved to the Naples area.


December 1943

Probably Operation Hardtack. Several reconnaissance and prisoner-capture raids. French Coast. Members of 2nd Ranger Battalion attached to most likely No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando.


January 22nd, 1944 – January 28th, 1944

Operation Shingle. Landings at Anzio, Italy. 6615th Ranger Force attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. The 1st and 4th Battalion land pre-dawn unopposed on a beach in the centre of the port of Anzio. The 3rd Battalion and 509th Parachute Battalion come in on the second wave. As they move inlands, the German resistance increases mounted, followed by increasing German counterattacks. The Rangers establish defensive positions Northeast of Anzio until January 28th, 1944, when they are relieved by the British.

January 29th, 1944 – February 4th, 1944

Operations around Cisterna di Littoria, Italy. 6615th Ranger Force attached to 3rd Infantry Division. The Rangers assemble near Nettuno, on the night of January 29th, 1944., the unit begin moving into their assault positions. The 1st and 3rd Battalion start moving through the enemy lines towards the town of Cisterna di Littoria but lose contact with one another due to difficult terrain. At dawn, both battalions link up on open ground just South of Cisterna. German resistance increases fast, and the situation becomes critical as the Rangers realise, they are being surrounded by armoured units and fallschirmjäger. Headquarters, the 4th Battalion, and the Ranger Cannon Company move by road to Cisterna as reinforcements but meet strong opposition. Meanwhile the follow-up units of the 3rd Infantry Division are delayed. The Germans keep bringing in reinforcements, while Ranger casualties increases, and ammunition starts depleting. In the late morning, the perimeter of the two battalions is shrunk to a fraction, while captains command the battalions. The 4th Battalion tries to break through, but it is unable to break the German encirclement. The surrounded battalions are now under constant artillery while tanks attack their positions. Further efforts to break the encirclement by both the 4th Rangers as the 3rd Infantry Division. However, during the afternoon both Ranger Headquarters as the 4th Battalion are surrounded by the Germans. They are not relieved until January 31st, 1944. The 4th Battalion is removed from the battlefield after fighting of one more German counterattack on February 4th, 1944. Of the 767 men of the 1st and 3rd Battalion attempting the infiltration, only six make it back to Allied lines. Except for some support personnel and recovering wounded, the 1st and 3rd battalions suffered twelve killed, thirty-six wounded, and 743 captured.


June 6th, 1944 – June 8th, 1944

Operation Overlord. Invasion of Normandy, France. Raid on Pointe du Hoc. 2nd and 5th Ranger infantry Battalion. At 07:10 Companies D, E, and F, of the 2nd Battalion, land at the foot of Pointe du Hoc. The men scale the thirty metres high cliffs under intense German fire. On top, they clear the German positions and find out that the guns are not there. The unmanned guns were located by a patrol, in an inland position prepared to fire on the beaches and the men destroy their firing mechanisms with thermite grenades. Over the next two days the Rangers the Germans force the Rangers Group into a smaller enclave along the cliffs. During these fights, several Rangers are taken prisoner. With no reinforcements coming in from the sea the group has to wait until they are relieved by the Rangers Group who landed on Omaha Beach. The original plans called for Companies A and B of the 2nd Battalion and the entire 5th Battalion to follow the initial attack on Pointe du Hoc. They would be called in, by firing flares, when the initial wave had successfully captured the area. Unfortunately, the initial landings at Pointe du Hoc had been delayed, causing the signal to come in too late. By that time, the other Ranger Group had already landed on the Western end of Omaha Beach instead of Pointe du Hoc. This turned out to be a game changer at the until then disastrous landings at Omaha Beach. After their landing, the Ranger Group initiate a new momentum on the Western part of the beach and carries the assault into the overlooking bluffs to outflank the German defences. After taking the beach their next mission is to relieve the Ranger Group on Pointe du Hoc with elements of the 116th Infantry Regiment. Because of the heavy fighting on the beach only twenty-three Rangers from the 5th Battalion are able to reach, the Companies of the 2nd Battalion at Pointe du Hoc during the early evening of June 6th, 1944. It is not until the morning of June 8th, 1944, that the Rangers at Pointe du Hoc are finally relieved by the 2nd and 5th Battalion, assisted by the 1st Battalion of the 116th Infantry Regiment which is supported by tanks from the 743rd Independent Tank Battalion.

August 1944September 1944

Battle for Normandy and Brittany. 2nd and 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion. In August both Ranger Battalions move to Brittany. The 2nd Battalion is used for assaulting defensive positions during the month of August. In September it is used to clear the Crozon Peninsula and La Conquet
Peninsula. The 5th Battalion is used in the Siege of Brest to attack the German held fortifications.

The Philippines

October 17th, 1944 – December 1944

Landings on the Gulf of Leyte. 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion. The Rangers are given an assignment to land on D minus 3, on October 17th, 1944, and take control of three islands at the entrance of Leyte Gulf, and to eliminate any interference with the main invasion. Companies of A, C, E, F, and a part of Headquarters land on Dinagat. Company B with some reinforcements Headquarters land on Homonhon and D company lands on Suluan and destroys a light house the Japanese were using for communications for ships and aircraft. The operations are cancelled for the 17th due to harsh weather but on the 18th, the weather is great and operations are good to go. On Dinagat they erect the first American Flag to signal the return to the Philippines. B company meets no resistance on Homohon so they are ordered to go to the island of Suluan and destroy the lighthouse. Since there were no U.S. Navy transports available, they arrange local Filipinos to take them to the island in sail boats. Here they destroy the lighthouse and the majority of Japanese garrison. After completing their missions, the unit assembles near Tacloban on the island of Leyte. Here they primarily patrol until the order comes through for their participation of the Lingayen Gulf invasion of Luzon.


December 6th, 1944 – January 1st, 1944

Attack on Hill 400. 2nd Battalion attached to the 28th Infantry Division. On December 6th, 1944, the battalion moves to the Brandenberg area in Germany. The Rangers are brought to of Hill 400. This hill was approximately 400 metres high, with steep slopes and almost fully frozen. It is defended by pill boxes and has one of the highest observation posts in the Ruhr Valley. The Battalion is tasked to capture the hill and hold it for at least 24 hours or until relieved. A patrol from Companies D and F is sent at 03:00 to reconnoitre the best plan of attack on the hill. Companies’ A, B, C, and E get into position and secure the town of Bergstein, Germany at the foot of Hill 400. On December 7th ,1944 Companies D and F launch an assault on Hill 400 at 07:30. After a fierce battle with heavy casualties, they manage to capture the hill. The Germans try to take the hill back and launch various counterattacks and heavy artillery barrages. Despite this German effort the battalion can hold the hill until they are relieved on December 9th, 1944. The battalion is then sent to the bivouac area in the Hürtgen Forest.

December 1st, 1944 – December 24th, 1944

Attack towards the Saar River. 5th Battalion attached to Task Force Fickett. Task Force Fickett is created by attaching 5th Battalion, C Company 602nd Tank Destroyer Battalion, and B Company 293rd Engineer Battalion to 6th Squadron of the 6th Cavalry Regiment. TF Fickett is attached to XX Corps during the attack towards the Saar River and the German 36th Infantry Division. The Task Force starts its advance on December 2nd, 1944, advancing over a 3.5 kilometres wide front between the French towns of Carling and L’Hôpital. From here they cross the border and move towards Lauterbach, Völklingen in Germany and near the river Saar. Here Task Force Fickett meets heavy German resistance but manages to clear both towns on December 5th, 1944. This action destroyed a German pocket in the U.S. lines that threatened the advance and prevented any Corps level forces from being drawn away from the battle.  On December 9th, 1944, Task Force Fickett relieves the 11th Infantry Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division from its duties on the river Saar and eventually relieves the entire division. At that moment, the Task Force covers the frontage of an entire division. On December 16th, 1944, 6th squadron and 28th Squadron switch their duties., and the Task Force is reassigned to support III Corps. On that very same day the Germans launched their Ardennes Offensive. Task Force Fickett conducted screening operations to deceive the Germans as to their true size.  They also countered enemy patrols that probed the American lines for a weakness. On Christmas Eve, 1944, Task Force Fickett leaves the 5th Battalion behind as they move North on Christmas Eve, 1944 to support III Corps in the Battle of the Bulge.

The Philippines

January 10th, 1945 – September 15th, 1945

Invasion of Luzon. 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion. The Rangers land on Lingayen Gulf beach but are not really involved in battle. They act as guards for Sixth Army Headquarters. B company is sent to Santiago Island to defend the entrance to the Gulf and deny the enemy from any foothold behind the U.S. forces. They to also set up a radar station to inform headquarters. After the Cabanatuan Raid the majority of the 6th Battalion, starts clearing enemy positions in the mountains, Japanese strongpoints, and supply routes by using hit-and-run tactics. They also execute harassing attacks for the remainder of the Luzon campaign.

January 27th, 1945 – February 1st, 1945

Raid of the Prisoner of War Camp at Cabanatuan. Companie C, 2nd Platoon of Company. F, two five-men Alamo Scout teams, and Filipino guerrillas. After the invasion of Luzon, there were great concerns that the Japanese might move or execute the prisoners at the camp before their liberation. Sixth Army ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Mucci to organise a liberation mission of the camp. On January 27th, 1945, Alamo Scouts start to place the Pangatian Camp under surveillance while the Rangers conduct a fifty kilometres march through enemy territory, to link up with the Scouts. About 70 Japanese soldiers guard the camp. In the proximity another 150 Japanese soldiers are resting on their way to the front. In the early morning of on January 30th, 1945. the 121 Rangers attack through the main gate, killing all but a few of the Japanese guards. They free 513 prisoners of war and move them back across Allied held lines. The Filipino Guerrillas block the Japanese counterattacks killing almost a complete battalion without suffering any losses themselves. The Rangers suffer two killed and ten wounded.


February 23rd, 1944 – March 3rd, 1945

On February 23rd, 1945, the battalion crosses the Saar River on a footbridge. Just before midnight, the 5th Battalion pass through the 302nd Infantry Regiment of the 94th Infantry Division into enemy territory. The march towards their objective is difficult because of German artillery fire and ambushes, captured Germans and the dense woods. US artillery units in the neighbourhood help them by firing two rounds on the objective to help them establish their position. While moving closer to their objective, they keep running into German patrols leading to eventually to 110 prisoners. By 08:00 hours on February 25th, 1945, they start to arrive at their objective. The unit sets up an egg-shaped defensive perimeter sixty metres wide and six hundred metres long, effectively blocking the Irsch-Zerf road on the plateau.

By the time the battalion has dug in, the Germans discover them. From that time on they are counterattacked by them with rockets, artillery, and infantry. Heavy fighting causes, ammunition, water, food, and medical supplies to run low. Fortunately, an artillery spotter aircraft of the 94th Infantry Division is able to drop some supplies into the defensive perimeter. Meanwhile the Germans keep attacking during the rest of the day.

On February 26th, 1945, Task Force Riley manages to relieve the Rangers. They had cleared three roadblocks while fighting their way towards the beleaguered Ranger battalion. Once relieved, the Rangers are attached to the 301st Infantry Regiment, a platoon of tanks, a platoon of tank destroyers, and a section of anti-aircraft .50 calibre machineguns on halftracks which were part of Task Force Riley. They are resupplied and receive orders to attack further into Germany.

During the morning of February 27th, 1945, the Ranger Battalion repositions to higher grounds in order to gain a better defensive position. The Germans start ro counterattack with heavy artillery for the next few days causing heavy casualties. The battalion holds their position until March 3rd, 1945, when German resistance is finally broken. The 5th Battalion suffers thirty-four killed, 140 wounded, and twelve missing, putting the unit strength at 212 men, all ranks.

The Philippines

April 1945

One company, 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion. The company successfully blocks Japanese troops trying to withdraw from eastern Luzon.

June 1st, 1945 – June 31st, 1945

Assault on Aparri. B Company, 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion. On June 1st, 1945, B company dugs in on the west side of the river waiting to attack after the artillery and PT boats attack the town of Aparri. They crossed the river on June 21st, 1945, securing the town of Aparri, from here they move south, and take the airfield just prior to the landing of a battalion from the 11th Airborne Division. The Rangers then drive south until they contact elements of the 37th Infantry Division. B Company is then relieved and flew back to San Fernando.