Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor
Paperback, 6x9 in, 420 pages, Illustrated, Index, Bibliography
Wheatmark, January 2007
ISBN: 9781587364990 (paperback)
For more than 200 years, U.S. Army Rangers have fought suicidal combat missions against overwhelming odds—earning their unrivaled reputation as the world’s premier close-combat warriors. In Rangers in Combat, Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Lock vividly brings to life the horrific battles and the heroic exploits of a special breed of men for whom “valor,
honor, and country” mean more than life itself.
Take a stand with Robert Rogers and his outnumbered Rangers during the French and Indian War. Ride with Mosby on the Soughton Raid in the Civil War. In World War II, spearhead Patton’s invasion of Sicily beside the legendary William O. Darby, suicidally climb the cliffs of Pointe-du-Hoc with James Earl Rudder, or storm “bloody Omaha” with Max Schneider. Stand outnumbered deep in North Korea while defending Hill 205 against overwhelming hordes of Communist Chinese. And high atop a mountain in Afghanistan, fight your way out of a savage al Qaeda terrorist ambush.
From the snowy forests of Upstate New York and the swamps of South Carolina, to the humid streets of Mogadishu and the snowy mountain peaks of Afghanistan, read accounts of and lessons learned from some of the most courageous, daring, and vicious ground combat in the annals of U.S. military history. Enter the combat zone with elite warriors who have helped to change the course of history.
About the author
J. D. (John) Lock is a 1982 graduate and former assistant professor of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He retired from active duty as a lieutenant colonel in May 2002. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1974 and served as a noncommissioned officer until 1978.
In addition to Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor, Lock is the author of The Coveted Black and Gold: A Daily Journey Through the U.S. Army Ranger School Experience and Chain of Destiny.
Lock currently works in support of architectural development, modeling, and simulation for the U.S. Army’s Current Force and the Army’s transformation to the Future Force, in addition to serving as a consultant in support of the Army Science Board and the Army’s National Guard and Reserve senior mentor program.
His website is http://www.johndlock.com
He can be contacted at JDLock82@aol.com
TAKUR GHAR MOUNTAIN, Afghanistan, 2002 — Approaching the helicopter landing zone from the south, the black form of Razor 01 was just beginning to crest the mountains to the east. The helicopter was on its final approach when the impact of an RPG knocked out the right engine with the aircraft still 20 feet off the ground. The RPG was followed immediately by heavy machine gun fire that sprayed the side of the Razor 01 and shattered the glass in the cockpit.
Insulation rained as confetti from the rounds peppered all about. Through the right forward window, an RPG streaked to impact against an electronic console that started to burn. Though the fire was soon put out, the air was still laced with smoke and bullets, and the enemy seemed to be firing from everywhere. Razor 01 was in a hornet’s nest.
In the rear of the downed MH-47E, the rear door gunner and a Ranger opened fire, killing one al Qaeda. But the Rangers knew that they’d all be dead if they didn’t get out of the Chinook quickly. With every second counting, a well-rehearsed exit out of the rear of the aircraft to assigned positions around the helicopter was replaced by a desperate evacuation to get out of the hulk that had now become a virtual magnet for bullets.
In the mass exodus, the Chalk 1 Rangers braved the fires and rushed down the rear ramp. Specialist Marc A. Anderson, 30, due to be discharged from the Army within a few months, was killed while still in the cargo bay. Sergeant Bradley S. Crose, 22, and Private First Class Matthew A. Commons, 21, were both killed on the ramp. To have these men outfitted in full battle armor cut down in such a brief time span only indicated the incredible fusillade of fire they all faced at that moment.