January 22, 1944
American forces of the First, Third, and Fourth Ranger battalions landed unopposed in the early morning hours in the harbor of Anzio, Italy, and took control of the area. They were the first to land during the World War II invasion of Italy. These troops, expanded from the original First United States Army Ranger Battalion were organized and trained by West Point graduate William Orlando Darby from Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Unopposed at first, the First and Third battalions later suffered severe casualties, leaving the Fourth Division as the only remaining ranger force.