VFW Post 605 Salutes US Army Rangers

Mark Primmer - 8/18/2022

VFW Post 605 Salutes US Army RangersOn August 18, 2022, Benjamin Franklin VFW Post 605 Paris proudly supported the French non-profit organization, Remembering Americans in Europe, in dedicating a monument honoring the 1st Ranger Battalion on the beach in Dieppe, Normandy, France. 

VFW Post 605 Salutes US Army RangersPost members Bob Leclerc and Jack Pinard, as well as VFW Auxiliary member Anna Marie Mattson, joined Col. Allen Pepper, Military Attaché at the US Embassy Paris, himself a US Ranger (and a member of Post 605) at the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of Operation Jubilee and the first every military engagement of the US Rangers.

Shortly after the United States’ entry into WWII, General George C. Marshall created the 1st Ranger Battalion, creating America's first Army elite unit fighting unit. Initial training in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland led to a first cut in ranks and some 600 men out of 3000 volunteers were sent to Achnacarry, Scotland. 

Although their training had not yet been completed, 50 handpicked Rangers were called to action on August 19, 1942, to fight alongside British and Canadian commandos in Operation Jubilee. The raid was designed to evaluate the German coastal infrastructure in the port city of Dieppe, and to execute a deep reconnaissance mission against the town’s German occupiers. 

The Dieppe Raid advanced many of the intelligence objectives of the operation but resulted in enormous casualties for the Allies. Among them were the first Americans to die on European soil during WWII: Rangers 2nd Lt. Edward V. Loustalot, 2nd Lt. Joseph H. Randall, and Tec 4 Howard M. Henry. 

The Rangers of the 1st Battalion who served at Dieppe, and those of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Battalions who came after them, played critical roles in subsequent campaigns in Africa, Italy, and at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. These brave men helped spur the creation of the modern-day U.S. Special Forces.

In 1942, the 1st Ranger Batallion LED THE WAY for the US Army into the European Theater of Operations in WWII. 

The long overdue ceremony in 2022 was dedicated to making sure that the Ranger’s efforts will never be forgotten.