Darby was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas and is best known for his organization of the First Ranger Battalion during World War II. He was deployed with the 34th Infantry Division to Northern Ireland in 1942 and it was there he organized and trained his new elite commando unit which would come to be known as Darby’s Rangers. Darby was killed in combat in Italy while issuing orders to cut off a retreat of German soldiers. Relying on the inspiration of their late commander, the rangers continued their mission and all German forces in Italy eventually surrendered. Darby’s techniques were untraditional for the time period. Darby’s Rangers eventually evolved into the present day Army Rangers.
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