Read an Excerpt
This book covers the first eight months of the 2nd Airborne Ranger Company’s experiences during the Korean conflict. It complements the histories of the 3rd and 4th Ranger Companies, which were both all-white, by telling the stories of an all-black unit.
There are marked similarities but some race-specific differences between the Ranger Companies, which makes this book significant to the history of African Americans in military service.
The U.S. Army’s First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in Korea 1950—1951 gives a general unit history of the 2nd Airborne Ranger Company’s combat experiences in Korea. It records an important chapter in the Korean War. It begins with the first year of the war and goes on to describe in great detail the test of American leadership, resources, training incompatibility, and inadequacies of the United States effort in Korea. It also examines the special problems posed to the fighting army during the months of stalemate in the summer of 1951. Like the stories of other Rangers who served in Korea, this book emphasizes the limitations imposed by terrain and weather on the fighting capabilities of the troops. For those in the profession of military history the operations of the 2nd Ranger Company are described in careful detail, to provide a vivid description of the application of the principles of war.
This book is going to the printer 53 years after the Korean War. It emphasizes the contributions of African Americans who served during the Korean era. It is important to study carefully such a recent and invaluable example of an American all-black Ranger company that performed superbly against many odds. I encourage military and civilian students and veterans alike to take advantage of this insightful journey into the lives of those African Americans who made great sacrifices when America was in need.
William E. Ward
General Commander, United States Africa Command