Woodbury County

Sgt. Robert T. Chesher




For the second time in the same week the Swea City community has been visited by a member of the American Rangers. First Sgt. Franklin (Zip) Koons, hero of the Dieppe raid, left Thursday after coming home to take a bride, the former June Anderson.  On Friday evening the crowd at the high school commencement exercises saw another tall, sun-bronzed soldier with the insignia of the American Rangers on his sleeve. He was First Sgt. Robert T. Chesher, who with his wife, the former Gladys Paulson, is visiting at the parental Axel Paulson home northeast of town.

In Mediterranean Two Years
Sgt. Chesher, a member of the 4th Rangers battalion, is in the States on furlough after having been in action in the Mediterranean area for over two years.  At first a member of the 1st Ranger Batalion (Zip Koons’ outfit, though a different company) Sgt. Chesher took part in the Tunisian campaign.  While still in Africa, he was transferred to his present battalion.  During action in Italy last November, he was wounded.  This took place, ironically enough, on Armistice day, Nov. 11, and occurred while our forces were attempting to cross the Volturno river.  He was hospitalized from Nov. 12 to Dec. 30, and then returned to the front.  At the time he was given his furlough, March 26, he was taking part in the landing at the Anzio beachhead.

Saw Albert Paulson in Italy
He and his 18 year old brother-in-law, Albert Paulson, were indirectly participating in the same action, and it was there that Albert received wounds which resulted in his being hospitalized.  Sgt. Chesher visited Albert at a hospital in the Naples area shortly before sailing from Italy on April 7, and brings reassuring word to the home folks concerning Albert’s progress.

Sgt. Chesher arrived in the States on May 3, and he and his wife are spending some time here.  Mrs. Chesher’s sister, Mildred Paulson, was one of the graduating class at the Swea City commencement exercises Friday night.

On June 6, Sgt. Chesher is to report at Camp Hood, Texas, for further orders.

Source:  The Algona Upper Des Moines, Tuesday, May 23, 1944

They Fought in the Bloodiest Battles of World War II

By Nick Lamberto
Many of them came from Iowa communities; some had never traveled beyond the next farm or a neighboring city or town before they joine the Army.

But before the end of World War II, these same men – members of the U.S. Army Rangers – had participated in seven invasions, leaving a trail of bravery and blood from the sands of North Africa and the scraggy cliffs of Normandy to the jungle trails of Luzon in the Phillippines.


Before the D-Day invasion, Rangers had participated in invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio (in Italy.) Later they took part in invasions of Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines.  They participated in major battles at Arzew, Dernia Pass, El Guettar, Gela, Licata, Porto Empodocile, Butera, Messina, Chiunzi Pass, Venafro, San Pietro, Cisterna, Omaha Beach, Vierville, Grancamp, La Coquet Peninsula, Brest, Huertgen Forest, Point Du Hoc, Hill 400 and 105, Zerf, Oberleuken, the Bulge, Leyte and Manila.

Saw Patton.
Robert (Bob) Chesher, of Sioux City, became president of the Ranger Battalions Association, which formed after the war was over.  He remembers World War II “as the last one we won.”  He also remembers seeing Gen. George S. Patton somewhere in Sicily.  “He had his ivory-handled pistols and all,” Chesher said.  “He asked us where we were going and what we were doing.  It was supposed to be a tank attack, but there were no tanks.”

Source:  The DesMoines Register, Sunday, July 27, 1975 p. 21 (photo included)