Pottawattamie County

S/Sgt. Wilbur L. Gallup



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 joined 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.

Rugged Training.
. . . . Some received early training in the swamps of Louisiana before America entered World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

Iowa’s 34th Infantry Division, originally a National Guard unit, and the First Armored Division furnished cadre members for the newly formed Rangers when they started training at Achnicarry, Scotland, in the summer of 1942.  At least two men died in training there.


Ranger Dean Hooker, of Des Moines, visited the grave of his brother, John, at Venafro, Italy, after John was killed Nov. 11, 1943.  On that same day, Ranger Wilbur Gallup, of Council Bluffs, was hit by a mortar shell and lost part of his cheekbone.

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