his 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 19501951 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
United States Africa Command