Ranney , Myron N. ‘Mike’, born 21-11-1922 in Kensal, North Dakota, attended the University of North Dakota before the Attack on Pearl Harbor took place. He enlisted on 17-08-1942 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota listing his prior occupation as “actor”.
Staff Sergeant Mike Ranney was a non-commissioned officer and was one of the 140 original Toccoa men of Easy Company. Ranney was quickly made one of the Staff Sergeants of the unit but later was demoted to Private. He was transferred to Item Company of the Third Battalion but he was transferred back to Easy Company on 01-06-1944. Ranney was promoted back to Sergeant after the battle in France. He was a Toccoa man and became an NCO while there. When Lieutenant Richard “Dick”Winters was court martialed for supposedly not following an order set by Captain Herbert Sobel, he and the rest of the NCO’s formally made a declaration to no longer serve in Easy Company. This earned him backlash from Colonel Robert Frederic Sink
and resulted in him being demoted to Private. The motto of Easy Company was “Currahee” or “We Stand Alone”. Easy Company was recognized as the finest company in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101 Airborne Division,
Screaming Eagles after the intense training.
Herbert Sobel, not a beloved man by his para’s, in 1970 shot himself in the head with a small-caliber pistol in an attempted suicide. The bullet entered his left temple, passed behind his eyes, and exited the other side of his head. This severed his optic nerves and left him blind.Soon afterward, he began living at a VA assisted-living facility in Waukegan, Illinois. He died there of malnutrition on 30-09-1987, age 75. No memorial services were held for him.
Ranney was one of the many Paratroopers to jump on D-Day with Easy Company and the 506th. He took part on the assault at Brecourt Manor,Assault, a gun emplacement north of the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. Easy Company was assigned the task of destroying four short cannon-like guns, 105 mm German howitzers, which were firing down on US troops on Utah Beach. He was teamed with Clifford Carwood “The Man”.Lipton. Easy Company destroyed the howitzers and for his part in this action, Ranney was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions. Later, he was wounded for which he received his Purple Heart. His commanding officer wrote that he was one of the “Easy Company’s killers” who instinctively understood the intricacies of battle. He jumped into the Netherlands in 17-09-1944 for Operation Market Garden.
The men were told that this operation would end the war bringing them home by Christmas 1944. This was not a successful Allied operation, yet it was the largest airborne operation to that date. During this operation, Easy Company liborated my hometown Eindhoven and brought to safety over 140 British Paratroopers who were trapped between a river and the Nazis front line. On 02-10-1944, he accidentally shot himself with a pistol that he just cleaned, and was evacuated to England. He was sent back to the United States on 01-12-1944. He was officially discharged on 24-04-1945. Ranney returned to the University of North Dakota and switched to a journalism major. He married Julia Hutchinson in 1946 and had 5 children. But had a stormy marriage and the couple divorced in 1971, remarried 4 years later but divorced again after 2 years.
Ranney worked as a journalist for various newspapers. He also engaged in the field of public relations, but returned to journalism for the final years of his career.
Beginning in 1946, Ranney, Bob Rader and Walter Smokey Gordon, started Easy Company reunions. Ranney was the principal organizer of the initial reunions.this photo of an Easy Co. reunion: Taken several years after WWII, This photo shows the following, standing l. to r.:Amos ‘Buck’Taylor, Darrel ‘Shifty’ Powers, Herb’ Junior’ Suerth, Robert Rader, and Ed Tipper. Below l. to r.: Floyd ‘Tab’ Talbert, Wally Wentzel, Don Moone, and Walter ‘Smokey’ Gordon
Death and burial ground of Ranney, Myron N. ‘Mike’.
Ranney died on 22-09-1988, age 65, of a heart attack. He was buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery. Section CB, grave 940. In a letter dated 25-01-1982 Ranney wrote to one of his commanding officers, Richard “Dick” Winters, “I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ Grandpa said ‘No…but I served in a company of heroes’.” Ranney’s military grave marker reads “Sergeant United States Army, World War II”;