Elite Soldiers Recognize WWII Army Ranger Legend
by U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Victoria Eckert
September 30, 2018
Tables covered in white cloth. Friends and service members gathered in a community room at the Arkansas Veterans Home in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Scattered throughout the room are U.S. Army Rangers. All brought together to celebrate a hero. A fellow Ranger.
Army Rangers are among the best of the best serving in the United States military. According to a study done in Fiscal Year 2016, only 36.8% graduated the arduous Ranger course. The course is designed to push the limits of a Soldier’s mind and body.
Denman Wolfe is a part of this elite group.
Over 74 years ago, the 5th Ranger Battalion gallantly met the enemies of World War II at the beaches of Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. One of those Rangers was Private Wolfe, a 23-year-old Soldier from Indiana assigned to D-Co, 5th Ranger Battalion.
Left - U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Megaloff, State Command Sergeant Major, Arkansas National Guard, presents his coin of excellence to retired Master Sgt. Denman Wolfe during the 'Ranger Breakfast', at the Arkansas Veterans Home in North Little Rock, Arkansas on July 18, 2018. Right - Sketched portrait of retired Master Sgt. Denman Wolfe by a German POW at a barber shop before his return to the USA, circa 1945. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army National Guard photos by Spc. Victoria Eckert)
More than 160,000 allies landed on the beaches of Normandy to take on Hitler’s Army. It is known to be the single most important fight in World War II. Col. Schneider, commander, 5th battalion, ordered three waves of eighteen Ranger boats to Omaha Beach. The first companies to land at Point du Huc were met by immense machine gun, mortar and artillery fire. In the heat of combat, 2nd Ranger Battalion received reinforcements from the 5th Ranger Battalion.
“We scaled the cliff at Point du Huc,” said Wolfe as he showed a photo of the cliff displayed on his wall. “ It was 100 feet high.”
Wolfe spent 3 years, 11 months and 21 days in Europe with the U.S. Army. His time was spent in Africa before World War II and Korea during the Korean War. His medals include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal. Wolfe retired from the United States Army as a Master Sergeant in 1962 after serving for 22 years.
“To me, he is a living legend” said Mike Ball, a member of the Rangers Special Forces page on Facebook.
The group, comprised of former Rangers and Special Forces Soldiers, gather for a ‘Ranger Breakfast’ when they can. “It gives us an opportunity to learn more about these guys. Once they are gone, we are the ones who tell the story, and we wouldn’t be where we are without men like Wolfe” said Ball.
“I’m no hero, I just did what I had to do,” expressed World War II veteran Denman Wolfe, retired U.S. Army Ranger Master Sergeant.
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