Ranger Charles Ronald Choate
Army Serial Number:
This was my Uncle that I never really knew. Uncle Ronald was always a quiet man. He was big and scary to me as a kid, I’m sorry to say, that I was just too young to ask him the questions, I now regret not having asked. People say that bad people lurk on the internet, but I’m here to say, it has opened doors for me that would never have opened in any other way.
When my wife and I bought our first computer in 1999. I logged into the Ranger Family website. When I did, it opened a door into my Uncle’s life that even my mother and her mother, my Grandmother, Blanche Choate, had no knowledge of.
With just one note left on the Ranger Family website guest book requesting contact from anyone who knew my Uncle, I received a reply from Ranger Jim Harris, who in the following three years, until his passing in 2002, shared his personal experiences and times he shared with my Uncle Ronald.
Transferring from the paratroops into the Rangers at Nemours, North Africa, Tech. Sgt Choate proved his worth from the Sicily invasion to Anzio. At Cisterna Italy, time ran out for Col. Darby's men. He was captured and held as a POW at Stalag 2B until he was moved to a forced labor farm in Northern Germany.
As the news of the Ranger disaster at Cisterna was making the newspapers back in the States, my Grandmother refused to believe her son, Ronnie, had perished. As the war neared its climax, and the Russians got ever closer, his German captors forced marched the prisoners across Germany until Uncle Ronald was able to just walk way.
Uncle Ronald died in Santa Ana California in 1978 and is buried at Fairhaven Cemetery.