Station: Tunisian Campaign North Africa
February of 1943, the 1st Ranger Battalion was to raid
the Sened Station, still in North Africa. On Feb. 11, 1943, Co’s.
A, E and F set out to raid the Italian positions at Station de
Sened, defended by the Centauro Division and the elite Bersaglieri
twelve miles of rough terrain to cover, the Rangers carried no
packs, traveling light with a canteen of water, a C ration and a
shelter half each. They were trucked in to about twelve miles of
their final destination. From here they set out on foot to within
four miles of their mission objective, Sened Station.
keeping with the Ranger element of surprise, soon after nightfall,
the Rangers rose from hiding and approached to within one mile of
the Station objective. From here they were close enough to observe
the enemy, undetected. Here they waited here until full darkness
fell. With blackened faces, tags taped down (to eliminate any
noise and the resulting alert of their approach to the enemy), and
woolen skullcaps, they quietly approached.
A approached from the left, E the center, and F on the right. With
the use of hooded lights shown only to the troops behind (a tactic
employed yet today when in situations of radio silence where they
employ a series of colored lights seen only to the rear of the
approaching Rangers), Darby and Dammer were able to signal and
move the three companies into position, using only their colored,
hooded lights, for the attack.
Italians became suspicious and fired nervously and aimlessly into
the night. Having no idea the Rangers were actually among them,
the fire was aimed too high and served only to alert the
approaching Rangers as to the gunner’s positions.
the three companies approached and attacked, the Headquarters
Company was firmly positioned in the rear, making it impossible
for the Italians to escape the Ranger attack.
less than an hour, the Rangers secured Sened Station. Ranger
Garrison was killed and twenty some other Rangers were wounded.
The Rangers withdrew and headed back to Gafsa on foot, the
prisoners, the wounded, and the now battle seasoned Rangers.
was a quick pace and difficult with prisoners and wounded. Several
Rangers were decorated with Silver Stars, while Bing Evans and
Walter Wojcik were awarded battlefield commissions.
raid was carefully planned and exceeded all expectations. Darby
recalls one incident when he was in radio communication with
Captain Max Schneider, future commander of the 5th Ranger
the action I called Captain Max Schneider to find out how many
prisoners he had taken. The captain replied, 'I think I have
two, sir.' The field radio connection was bad, and I asked for
a repeat. The two Italians tried to pull a getaway, and the
captain fired two quick shots, answering in the same breath,
‘Well, sir, I had two prisoners.’"
raid resulted in at least fifty Italian dead and eleven prisoners
from the famed 10th Bersaglieri Regiment. The fighting
for Sened was very close and personal, as one Ranger recalls,
"There was some pretty intense in-fighting there, but a man
doesn't talk about what he does with a bayonet."
bury the dead opposition from the Sened Raid
courtesy Ranger Donald S. Frederick 1st and 4th Ranger Bn)
officers and nine enlisted men were awarded the Silver Star for
their part in the Sened raid.
References: Rangers in World War II, by Robert W.
Black, 1st Battalion Rangers who were there.