Colonel William O. Darby stands in the American and British training area in Carickfergis, Scotland, during the fall of 1942.

Darby carefully picked a handful of volunteer officers for what he called the Rangers. Darby's group went from camp to camp to interview troops from the various American units scattered in Ireland. They werre looking for men who were physically fit, athletically inclined and looking for a challenge. After interviewing and testing thousands of men, Darby and his officers picked 500 men to become the first Army rangers. On June 19, 1942, the first Ranger batallion was activated. By July, Darby and his rangers were at Ft. Wiliam, Scotland to be trained by British Commandos. American rangers were put through grueling training which included 20 mile speed marches, cliff climbing, obstacle courses, anything the British could think of that could harden their American counterparts for the trial ahead. The rangers learned the art of guerilla warfare from hand to hand fighting, demolitions and night fighting. Throuhghout it all, the newly promoted Colonel William Darby was in the field with his men.

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