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3rd Battalion Official Dates of Record
3rd Ranger Battalion History
(US ARMY HISTORY FILES, WASHINGTON)
As Provided by Kathleen O'Brien Office of Military History Washington, DC
Activated 21 May 1943, at vic Nemours Morocco North Africa.
Redesignated from 3rd Ranger Infantry Battalion 1 August 1943
(official dates of record)
Arrived in North Africa, 21 May 1943
Arrived in Sicily 10 July 1943
Arrived in Italy 22 January 1944 (?)
Arrived stateside, 15 April 1944
Battle of Naples-Foggia
Cisterna di La Latina
21 May until 10 July 1943-No records available
10-23 July 1943 Operation HUSKY
Assault elements supported the Green Beach Assault Force which consisted of the 3rd Infantry Division in their landing at vic Licata, Sicily, Code named Operation HUSKY, which was about mid-island, almost directly across from Tunis on the 9th and 10th of July.
The Rangers reduced the beach defenses, and attacked the port city of Licata.
The 3rd took hill 313 east of Favara and linked up with the 7th Infantry.
Attached to the 7th Infantry the Rangers moved west toward Montaperto along the Agrigento-Favara Road.
At the junction of the Agrigento and Favara Road they destroyed a roadblock, and captured the town of Montaperdo.
From Montaperdo the 3rd moved south, attacked and secured Porto Empedocle.
On the 18 of July the Rangers were out posted two miles southwest of Baffadili.
From the 19th to 23rd they were moved to Mt. Sara.
20 July they provided road junction defense northeast of Calamonaci.
And on until the 23rd they provided defensive forces for the Ribera -Sciacca-Menfi-Castelvetrano Routes for American Infantry forces.
23 July until 7 Aug., no records available
7 August the Rangers moved from a bivouac area near vic Menfi to vi Coronia, in support of the 3rd Infantry.
12 August the Rangers secured Popo di Morco four miles south-southwest of Capo d' Orlando.
The Rangers with the help of the 7th Infantry secured the Naso-Capo d' Orlando road. Protecting the east side of the road from attack.
Marching with the 15th Infantry the Rangers moved to St. Angelo di Brolo, then cut-across country toward Patti to the mountain outpost of Mt. Balavaggio.
Relieved from 15th infantry support the 3rd moved to Monaforte.
By 16 August they had crossed the Island of Sicily and were tasked with the reconnaissance mission of the Straits of Messina for a possible fire mission.
17 August they returned to Coronia.
On the 18th they were attached to II Corps, and were bivouacked at Coronia until 21 August.
On 21 August the 3rd moved to vic Corleone to receive and train their replacements.
The following explains the Rangers activities on the 10th through the 18th of September
As authorized by Executive Order 9396 (sec. I, WD Bul. 22, 1943), superseding Executive Order 9075 (sec. III, WD Bul, 11, 1942), the following units are cited by the War Department in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction.
The citation reads as follows:
The 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions, with the following-attached units:
319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion;
Headquarters Battery, 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion;
Battery D, 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion;
Battery E, " " " "
Battery F, " " " "
Medical Detachment, 80th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion;
Company H, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment;
2nd Platoon, Company A, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion,
are cited for outstanding performance of duty in action during the period 10 to 18th of September 1943. These Units, comprising a single Ranger force, landed at Maori, Italy, with the mission of seizing the high ground controlling Chiunzi Pass and securing the left flank of the Fifth Army in its push northward into the plain of Naples. The position held by this force was vital not only for flank security, but also for observation of the plain and of the German supply routes and communications lines to the Salerno battlefront. During this period, the Ranger force was subjected to almost continuous mortar and artillery fire and was repeatedly attacked by a determined enemy. Hostile forces were estimated to outnumber the Rangers and attached units by approximately eight to one, but despite superior enemy numbers, the Ranger force heroically fought off every attempt to dislodge it. Because of its limited strength and the large area assigned to it for defense, the force held the line thinly, marked by strong points with gaps covered by fire. Seven major counterattacks were repelled during the period and numerous enemy patrols were stopped, often in bitter, close-in fighting, with the Ranger Force using its mortars, artillery, automatic weapons, and grenades with devastating effect. The officers and men of these units fought without rest or relief and with limited food and water supplies. The continuous nature of the enemy fire and activity was such as to try the men to the limit of their endurance. Although overwhelming enemy forces drove almost constantly at the sparsely held positions, the determination and courage of the members of the 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions and their attached units offset the enemy superiority in numbers and made possible the successful accomplishment of a vital mission.
Official: DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
EDWARD F. WITSELL Chief of Staff
The Adjutant General
22 January the 3rd arrived on Anzio Beach.
The 3rd reorganized on the beach and moved through the 4th Ranger Infantry Battalion lines and seized and cleared the Port area except for mines.
The Rangers then moved to clear the town of Anzio.
Moving through the town the Rangers traveled north and established a link with the British First Division.
On the 23rd they relieved elements of the 7th Infantry, and made contact with the Scots Guards on the left.
On the 24th and 25th they were held in reserve.
On the 26th they were moved into position so that they could attack objectives to the right of Carroceto. They maintained contact and were in support of elements of the Scots Guard on the left, and the 4th Ranger Infantry Battalion on the right. On the 29th their position was relieved by the 1st Bristish Recon Regiment.
On the 30th and 31st they were committed to the attack of Cisterna.