The Us Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2D Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951

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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. Edward Posey's magnificent new study, now available in paperback, 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. 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 fighting-often conducted at very close quarters, and some of it with the bayonet and rifle butt-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 honour and achieved an outstanding combat record. Posey's long overdue book (written with the help of other Rangers) is based upon the firsthand experiences of many members of the unit, 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 African Americans faced, their sacrifices, and their courageous actions on the far side of the world.