James Earl Rudder
of Ranger Richard Rankin, 2/A
Ronald L. Lane
Fight With Intrepidity
LTC J. D. Lock
personal recollections of my dad
brief history on the
activation of the
2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion was officially activated on 1 April 1943 at
Camp Forrest in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
commanders had initially recommended the formation of a second Ranger
battalion back in December 1942, but did not receive approval until March
29 March 1943, eager volunteers from virtually every branch of the Army
gathered at Camp Forrest to undergo physicals. Those who passed were
inducted in the the 2nd Ranger Battalion.
April 15, 1943, Major L. E. McDonald assumed command of the unit. The 2nd
battalion would be organized much the same as the 1st Ranger battalion.
27 officers and 484 enlisted men comprised the battalion with a
Headquarters company and six line companies.
late June, four battalion commanders had come and gone. With the arrival
of Major James Earl Rudder, the 2nd battalion began to solidify as a unit
and their training intensified - focusing primarily on physical
conditioning and simple tactics. Countless men "washed out" and
returned to their original outfits, while many new soldiers transferred
2nd battalion remained at Camp Forrest until September 4, 1943, when they
departed by train for the "Scouts and Raiders School" in Fort
Pierce, Florida for their amphibious training.
18 September 1943, the 2nd battalion arrived at Fort Dix in New Jersey,
for training in advanced tactics. While at Fort Dix, the Rangers shed
their Second Army patches and replaced them with the "blue
diamond" patch, which was designed by one of the officers.
21-23, 1943 found the battalion at Camp Richie in Maryland for
intelligence training. On November 11, the Rangers traveled to Camp
Shanks in New York, as their last stop before departing for the
European Theater of Operations (ETO) on November 23, 1943.
more months of specialized training awaited the 2nd Ranger, including an
intense cycle of training with the Number 4 British Commandos. The Rangers
would receive their "baptism of fire" on the beaches and cliffs
of Normandy on June 6, 1944.