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1st & 3rd Battalion
Presidential Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation
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