Lester Bernard Cook Death – Dead :Lester Bernard Cook Obituary : Cause of Death Unknown.
Lester Bernard Cook has died, according to the following statements posted on social media on August. 18, 2020.
National Infantry Association on Twitter: “It is with great sadness we learn that Lester Bernard Cook, one of the last Darby’s Rangers, has passed. Lester was from Des Moines, IA. He enlisted in the Iowa National Guard while still in high school after the…
It is with great sadness we learn that Lester Bernard Cook, one of the last Darby’s Rangers, has passed.
Lester was from Des Moines, IA. He enlisted in the Iowa National Guard while still in high school after the… https://t.co/BuNS6eXLgI
— National Infantry Association (@InfantryAssoc) August 18, 2020
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It is with great sadness we learn that Lester Bernard Cook, one of the last Darby’s Rangers, has passed. Lester was from Des Moines, IA. He enlisted in the Iowa National Guard while still in high school after the US entered World War II. His unit was the 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Division “The Red Bull”. “I had no idea what I was getting into when I saw a notice on the bulletin board about the Rangers. I was stationed in Belfast, Ireland with the 168th Infantry.” In 1942, he volunteered and became part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Out of 1500+ men who volunteered when the 1st Ranger Battalion was assembled, only 500 were chosen to undergo training so realistic and rugged it was conducted under live fire. He served the full tour with Darby’s Rangers. He was awarded his first Silver Star Medal for action on the Winterline in Venafro, Italy. After fighting the Germans at Cisterna, Italy with the 4th Rangers as a SGT he had enough time to return home with 197 other seasoned Rangers. By the time VE Day was finally achieved, he was back at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, “I wasn’t there (in Europe) then, so I don’t remember really celebrating,” he said. “But I sure was glad that it was over.” He then embarked on a military career that spanned three wars and 26 years. He earned 2 Silver Stars, Purple Hearts, Presidential Unit Citations among many other accolades for intrepid exploits in faraway battlefields ranging from North Africa, Sicily, Italy to Korea and Vietnam. He served as a Platoon Sergeant with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team during the Korean War. He earned another Silver Star Medal during his tour. In Vietnam he served as the Sergeant Major of the 77th Special Service Group. Afterwards, he was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame and also received the Primicerius Order of Saint Maurice during a visit at the National Infantry Museum. “My understanding is that I am the only one of us still alive,” said Cook by telephone recently. He was known to be one of the last veterans of the original 1st Battalion US Rangers. Recently the US Senate unanimously passed the United States Army Rangers Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act.
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