A Second War 5th Ranger Battalion Shoulder Flash; D-Day
A Second War 5th Ranger Battalion Shoulder Flash; D-Day - From the estate of a D-Day veteran; White embroidered lettering "5th RANGER Bn" outlined in a red embroidered border forming a ribbon banner, on a black wool base, 25 mm x 95 mm, extremely fine. Footnote: The 5th Ranger Battalion was activated on September 1, 1943 at Camp Forrest, Tennessee. During the Battle of Normandy, the battalion landed on Omaha Beach, along with companies A, B and C of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, where elements of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division were pinned down by murderous machine-gun fire and mortars from the heights above. It was there that the situation was so critical that General Omar Bradley was seriously considering abandoning the beachhead, instead of sending more men to die. And it was then and there that General Norman Cota, Assistant Division Commander of the 29th Infantry Division, gave the now famous order that has become the motto of the 75th Ranger Regiment: "Rangers, Lead The Way!" The 5th Battalion Rangers broke across the sea wall and barbed wire entanglements, and up the pillbox-rimmed heights under intense enemy machine-gun and mortar fire and with A and B Companies of the 2nd Battalion and some elements of the 116th Infantry Regiment, advanced four miles (6 km) to the key town of Vierville-sur-Mer, thus opening the breach for supporting troops to follow-up and expand the beachhead. Meanwhile C Company of the 2nd Battalion, due to rough seas, landed west of the Vierville draw and suffered fifty percent casualties during the landing, but still scaled a 90-foot (27 m) cliff using ropes and bayonets to knock out a formidable enemy position that was sweeping the beach with deadly fire. The 5th Battalion with elements of the 116th Regiment finally linked up with the beleaguered 2nd Battalion on D+3, although Lieutenant Charles Parker of A Company, 5th Battalion, had penetrated deep behind enemy lines on D-Day and reached the 2nd Battalion with twenty prisoners. Later, with the 2nd Battalion, the unit distinguished itself in the hard-fought Battle for Brest. Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sullivan, the 5th Ranger Battalion took part in the Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Huertgen Forest and other tough battles throughout central Europe, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations and the French Croix de Guerre.