NOTE: This topic was submitted by (Ret.)Sergeant First Class Timothy McCoy.
The 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was the first and only all-black Ranger unit in the U.S. Army. The black soldiers were part of a historical 10-month journey that led them to the winter fields of the Korean War. The men were a unit from 1950 to 1951, until they were integrated into the 82nd Airborne Division. They were part of the first integrated division in the U.S. Army and a product of President Truman’s Executive Order 9981, prohibiting discrimination in the armed forces of the United States.
The 2nd Ranger infantry Company was stationed at Fort Benning. The men were subjected to racism, making their boot camp experience the most difficult. Despite their conditions, the Rangers were assigned to the war in Korea, where they left a mark in history. On January 7, 1951, the Rangers were in position to defend the railroad that ran through Tanyang Pass, against the Communist guerilla soldiers. A turning point occurred on March 23, 1951 during a critical airborne assault in Munsan-Ni. It was there that the 2nd Ranger Infantry completed the first combat jump of a U.S. Ranger Company.
Under the direction of Master Sergeant Edward Posey, the Rangers executed the attack and successful defense. Sgt. Pose was wounded during the soldier’s tenure in Korea. Thankfully, there were no POWs taken from the 2nd Ranger infantry.
After the Korean War, over 110 men of the 2nd Ranger Infantry received nine Silver Stars and twelve Bronze Stars with V device along with a series of Purple Hearts. The unit also received the Bronze Arrowhead. In 2002, Mast. Sgt. Edward Posey was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame with three additional soldiers of the Infantry.
The history of the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) is recorded in the book entitled “The US Army’s First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951” by Retired Master Sergeant Edward L. Posey. They were also given special recognition at the White House by President Barack Obama in February 2013.
An effort is currently underway by Winged Warrior Inc., a preservation organization, to collect and preserve the history of the U.S. Military.
For more information on the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne), go to secondrangerinfantrycompany.com.