Charles Ryan – Army Ranger, 2nd BN in WWII– passed away in his home in St. Louis on Sunday Mar. 24, 2019 – at the age of 96.
Charles Ryan – one of the very last of the Army Rangers in the 2nd BN in WWII – was one of 225 Rangers that risked their lives in the D-Day Invasion at Normandy (St. Louis, Associated Press on Saturday).
During the invasion, 50 of the 65 troops in Ryan’s unit lost their lives in this battle that began on June 6, 1944. In all, there were 225 Rangers that warded off fire from enemy artillery.
Ryan was wounded during the D-Day Invasion but that didn’t stop him from going on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge (and also the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest).
Ryan was assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion, which received the assignment along with the 5th Ranger Battalion in June 1944. The 2nd Battalion was tasked with landing on the beach, scaling the cliffs that were actively defended by the enemy firing down at the troops, as they scaled the tall close to vertical cliffs , and then – those that survived – secured this higher ground.
Once accomplishing this, they used flares to signal the successful taking of the cliffs.