The US Army’s first, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers
Introduction, 24 photos, appendices, biblio, notes, index, 264 pages
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Independent, scholarly, and a bit old fashioned
The US Army’s First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers
The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950 â€“ 1951
by Master Sergeant (Ret) Edward L. Posey
The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was the first and only all-black Ranger unit in the history of the United States Army. Its ten-month lifespan included selection, training, and seven months of combat deployment in Korea, after which the unit was deactivated. Master Sergeant (Ret) Edward Poseys The US Armys First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951 is the first complete history of this elite, all-volunteer unit, whose members were drawn from the 3rd Battalion of the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment and the 80th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion.
After experiencing the normal travails of boot camp at Fort Benning, which segregation and racism only made worse, the all-black Rangers set out to join the Korean War in late 1950. On January 7, 1951, the Rangers found themselves defending a critical railroad running through Tanyang Pass, which Communist guerillas tried to infiltrate. The nighttime action triggered the Rangersâ€™ inaugural combat, which ended with the recommendation for a Bronze Star for gallantry for a Ranger sergeant. Additional combats with the North Korean and Communist Chinese forces erupted near Majori-ri and Chechon.
But the event that propelled the 2d Rangers into the record books was their airborne assault near Munsan-Ni on March 23, 1951 the first in Ranger history. Once on the ground, Posey and his comrades attacked and captured Hill 151. The fightingâ€”often conducted at close quarters and occasionally with the bayonet demonstrated the courage of these tough African American soldiers. Heavy fighting marked their months at the front, including a magnificent attack and defense of Hill 581 that May. Throughout their deployment in Korea, the 2d Rangers served with honor and achieved a magnificent combat record.
Poseys long overdue history is based upon his own firsthand experiences, official records, interviews with survivors, and other archival material. Stitched together, this information offers a rich and worthy addition to the growing literature on the Korean War by explaining the obstacles these patriotic men faced, their sacrifices, and their courageous actions on the far side of the world.
Nearly sixty years have passed since the Korean War slipped into the realm of history. Now, the world will finally learn the true story of the United States Armys first, last, and only all-black Ranger unit.
About the Author: Master Sergeant (Ret) Edward L. Posey joined the US Army in 1947. He volunteered for airborne training with the Rangers in 1950 and served with distinction in the Korean War (where he was wounded). Posey retired from the service in 1969 and was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2002.
This book would not have been possible without the dedicated vision of “Big Jim” Major James C. Queen, Sergeant First Class William Weathersbee, and the collaborative efforts of the surviving members of the 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne). The result of their decades-long journey is this wonderful book their most important and final mission.