3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
The 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment was first organized on 3 October 1943 in the Army of the United States in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as an element of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional). It was consolidated on 10 August 1944 with Company F, 475th Infantry (first constituted 25 May 1944 in the Army of the United States), and the consolidated unit was designated as Company F, 475th Infantry. It was inactivated on 1 July 1945 in China. Between the service of this unit and the honors assumed from various consolidations, the unit colors carried streamers for participation in 16 campaigns during the Second World War: Algeria-French Morocco (streamer with arrowhead indicating participation in the initial assault), Tunisia, Sicily (streamer with arrowhead), Naples-Foggia (streamer with arrowhead), Anzio (streamer with arrowhead), Rome-Arno, Normandy (streamer with arrowhead), Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, New Guinea, Leyte (streamer with arrowhead), Luzon, India-Burma, and Central Burma.
Again, due to various consolidations, the unit carries honors for 3 campaigns during the Korean War: First UN Counteroffensive, CCF Spring Offensive, and UN Summer-Fall Offensive. The unit was redesignated on 21 June 1954 as Company F, 75th Infantry and allotted on 26 October 1954 to the Regular Army. It was activated on 20 November 1954 on Okinawa and inactivated there on 21 March 1956 on Okinawa.
The unit was activated on 1 February 1969 in Vietnam and inactivated there on 15 March 1971 in Vietnam. During the conflict in Vietnam, the unit was awarded streamers for participation in 6 campaigns: Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII.
Following the successful use of ranger battalions in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, the Department of the Army ordered the activation of the 3rd Ranger Battalion. In April 1984, a small cadre arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia to begin the selection process. Rangers from all over the world were interviewed, selected and moved to Fort Benning. The unit was redesignated on 2 October 1984 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Infantry, and activated at Fort Benning, Georgia with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. On 3 October 1984 at York Field, Fort Benning, Georgia, Secretary of the Army, John O. Marsh, presented the colors and activated the 75th Ranger Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. The activation of the Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion marked the first time since World War II that such a large ranger force had been activated.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Infantry was consolidated on 3 February 1986 with former Company A, 3rd Ranger Infantry Battalion. Company A, 3rd Ranger Infantry Battalion had been first constituted on 21 July 1943 in the Army of the United States as Company A, 3rd Ranger Battalion. It was concurrently consolidated with Company A, 3rd Ranger Battalion (Provisional) (first organized on 21 May 1943 in North Africa), and the consolidated unit was designated as Company A, 3rd Ranger Battalion. The unit was redesignated on 1 August 1943 as Company A, 3d Ranger Infantry Battalion before beign disbanded on 15 August 1944. It was reconstituted on 25 October 1950 in the Regular Army as the 3rd Ranger Infantry Company and activated on 28 October at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was inactivated on 1 August 1951 in Korea. The unit was redesignated on 24 November 1952 as Company A, 3rd Ranger Infantry Battalion. It was consolidated on 15 April 1960 with the 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 1st Special Service Force (first activated on 9 July 1942), and the consolidated unit redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. The unit was withdrawn on 14 December 1960 from the Regular Army and allotted to the Army Reserve, with its organic elements concurrently constituted. The 13th Special Forces Group was activated 1 March 1961 with Headquarters at Jacksonville, Florida. Headquarters and Headquarters Company was inactivated on 15 April 1963 at Jacksonville, Florida, and its organic elements were inactivated on 21 January 1966.
The lineage and honors of former Company A, 3rd Ranger Infantry Battalion were withdrawn on 3 February 1986 from that of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, as part of the consolidation with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Infantry. The consolidated unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, with the remainder of 13th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces thereafter having a separate lineage.
The 3rd Battallion, along with the entire Ranger Regiment, took part in Operation Just Cause, in which US forces restored democracy to Panama. Rangers spearheaded the action by conducting 2 important operations. The 1st Battalion, reinforced by Company C, 3rd Battalion, and a Regimental Command and Control Team, conducted an early morning parachute assault onto Omar Torrijos International Airport and Tocumen Military Airfield, to neutralize the 2nd Rifle Company of the Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF), and secure airfields for the arrival of the 82d Airborne Division.
The 2nd and 3rd Ranger Battalions and a Regimental Command and Control Team, conducted a parachute assault onto the airfield at Rio Hato, to neutralize the PDF's 6th and 10th Rifle Companies and seize General Manuel Noriega's beach house. Following the successful completion of these assaults, Rangers conducted follow-on operations in support of Joint Task Force (JTF)-South. The Rangers captured 1,014 Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW), and over 18,000 arms of various types. The Rangers sustained 5 killed and 42 wounded.
In 1993, Company B and a Command and Control Element of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment deployed to Somalia to assist United Nations forces in bringing order to a desperately chaotic and starving nation. Their mission was to capture key leaders in order to end clan fighting in and around the capital city of Mogadishu. On 3 October 1993, the Rangers conducted a daylight raid in which several special operations helicopters were shot down. For nearly 18 hours, the Rangers delivered devastating firepower, neutralizing an estimated 300 Somali's in what many called the fiercest ground combat since Vietnam. Six Rangers died. Several members of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment participated in the filming of the 2001 dramatization of the events, titled "Black Hawk Down."
After the events of 11 September 2001, 3rd Ranger Battalion was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On the night of 19 October 2001 portions of Companies A and C conducted a daring low-level parachute assault onto Objective Rhino, a desert airfield in south-western Afghanistan, in order to capture key logistical information. During follow-on missions, forces from Company B, 3rd Battalion accomplished a successful night parachute assault into Bastogne Drop Zone to secure a desert landing strip in support of a special operations raid.
3rd Battalion was called upon to fight against terrorism again in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the hours before the invasion began, Company A, 3rd Battalion and sections of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, carried out a successful parachute assault on the H2 Airfield in western Iraq. On the night of 31 March 2003, Company B, 3rd Battalion gained a foothold of the Hadithah Dam complex and over the next week, fought off elements from the Iraqi Republican Guard's Hammurabi Division attempting to retake and destroy the facility.
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