Unit Details

Airborne Unit
1950 - 1954

The 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was a Ranger light infantry company of the United States Army active during the Korean War. As a small special forces unit, it specialized in irregular warfare. A segregated unit, all of its personnel, including its officers, were African-Americans.

Activated and trained as a successor organization to the 2nd Ranger Battalion from World War II, the 2nd Ranger Company was formed and trained extensively in airborne warfare. Deployed to South Korea in December 1950, the company quickly adopted the motto of "Buffalo Rangers" and worked extensively as a scouting force for the U.S. 7th Infantry Division. In this role, the company undertook several major operations against the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, including Operation Tomahawk in early 1951.

Even though racial politics often resulted in the company receiving untrained replacements, it performed well in many small-scale engagements during this time. In the summer of 1951, the company was employed along the front line as an advance force to push back Chinese attacks as the front lines became more static. The company was highly regarded for its actions capturing and holding Hill 581 during the Battle of the Soyang River, in which the company inflicted hundreds of casualties on the Chinese without a single Ranger being killed.

Disbanded in August 1951 along with all the other Ranger companies, the unit's soldiers accrued several awards in its 10-month existence. These included four campaign streamers, nine Silver Star Medals and over 100 Purple Heart Medals. Subsequent research has focused on the economy of force of how the Rangers were employed and how their performance was impacted by the racist policies of their time.

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