Talks of trading 5 (FIVE) Taliban terrorists in Guantanamo for one of our soldiers made me recall another such trade….. it involved a family member who was traded. Reading the news, I’m thinking that back in the day, the US had better negotiators than Obama has today. In the news, “Taliban militants in Afghanistan have offered a trade to the United States: Give us five senior operatives imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay and we’ll free one American soldier held captive since 2009.”
My Uncle, James Norborn Key and one of his fellow US soldiers, was traded back to the US in exchange for a single German spy. He did not ever agree with the decision and said the German spy should have never been released; Uncle James said he and his fellow prisoner were merely POW ‘grunt soldiers’ & the German spy should have rotted in jail.
James Norborn Key was a Ranger, a ‘first’ Ranger, known as Darby’s Rangers “Darby’s Ranger Force was originally formed shortly after the United States’ entry into World War II and was modeled upon the British Commandos. Members from the unit were the first American soldiers to see combat in the European theatre when they participated in the failed raid on Dieppe in France in 1942, during which three Rangers were killed and several more were captured. Later, the 1st Ranger Battalion was sent to North Africa where they participated in the landings in Algeria and the fighting in Tunisia in 1943. In late 1943 the unit was broken up in order to raise two more Ranger battalions before it took part in the campaigns in Sicily and Italy.”
“The Ranger Force targeted Salerno on 9 September 1943, and participated in the Naples-Foggia Campaign. Then they moved on to Anzio on 22 January 1944. The entire 6615th Ranger Force (Provisional) was destroyed behind enemy lines in a heavily outnumbered encounter at Cisterna, Italy on 31 January 1944, and was officially disbanded on 15 August 1944. The 4th Ranger Battalion suffered some casualties while attempting to break through enemy lines to rescue their comrades in the 1st and 3rd Battalions. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Battalions were known as Darby’s Rangers.”
Uncle James was captured in the battle of Anzio, part of his skull was blown away and it was German technology which saved him when he was taken prisoner and a Platinum plate replaced the missing part of his skull. He was my Mother’s brother and died only a couple years ago. He told us many stories about his adventures, which included full contact rugby games against his guards after his wound healed. He was a tough old Patriot!
Original First Ranger Battalion Roster, June 19, 1942
at the Commando Training Depot, Achnacarry, Scotland.
(Rank Held at Time of Activation)
|Key, James N., Cpl.
Kness, Marvin E., Cpl.
Kuhl, Howard V., Cpl.
Lacosse, Frank, Cpl.
Ladd, Garland S., Cpl.
Masalonis, Edward W., Cpl.
McAllister, Harold, Cpl.