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VETERAN'S PICTURE
PERSONAL RECORDS
Name
Nationality
Captain Ralph E. Goranson
American
Date
Location
May 7th, 1945

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

Unit
C Company 2nd Ranger Captain
Wounded
Captured
Survived

Ranger Captain Ralph E. Goranson, of Libertyville, Illinois, with the special mission at Pointe de la Percée, led the BB men of “Charlie” company across the sand, subjected to deadly accurate enemy fire. Only 29 of his Rangers made it. Thirty-nine were dead or about to die in the suri and on the beach. “Here’s one for Ripley”, Captain Coranson said to one of the Ranger officers some time later, “I found nine slugs and bullet holes in my gear and clothing - didn’t get a scratch ; yet an many around us have died”. British destroyers eventually took care of the enemy installations at the Pointe de la Percée, hut in spite of the severe losses the remaining handful of Goranson’s Rangers went on to destroy a well defended enemy fortification inflicting many casualties.

Captain Goranson decided to go left toward the fortified house and knock out any enemy positions there which would cause trouble on Dog Beach; then, to proceed on his mission toward Pointe de la Percee. When the house was reached, the Rangers found that just beyond it lay a German strongpoint consisting of a maze of dugouts and trenches, including machine-gun emplacements and a mortar position.

Captain Goranson put men in an abandoned trench just west of the house and started to feel out the enemy positions on the other side. This began a series of small attacks which continued for hours without any decisive result. The boat section of Company B, 116th RCT, came up early and joined in, but even with this reinforcement Captain Goranson s party was too small to knock out the enemy position. Three of four times, attacking parties got around the house and into the German positions, destroying the mortar post and inflicting heavy losses.

Enemy reinforcements kept coming up along communication trenches from the Vierville draw, and the Ranger parties were not quite able to clean out the system of trenches and dugouts. Finally, toward the end of the afternoon, the Rangers and the Company B section succeeded in occupying the strongpoint and ending resistance. They had suffered only 2 casualties; a Quartermaster burial party later reported 69 enemy dead in the position. This action had tied up one of the main German firing positions protecting the Vierville draw "

Ralph E. Goranson was actually portrayed by Mr. Tom Hanks playing the captain of the 2nd Rangers Battalion in the movie Saving Private Ryan.

With thanks to his daughter Miss Carol Mount for the story.

 

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PERSONAL PICTURES
 
Unit Identification Patch
David Rogers
Shoulderpatch of the 87th Infantry Division.
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Ralp E. Goranson at bootcamp.
 

On his way...

 
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