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Pointe du Hoc Ranger 1SG Len Lomell dead at 91


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The greatest generation:

TOMS RIVER — Army Ranger veteran and local icon Leonard G. "Bud" Lomell, whose crucial D-Day heroics were chronicled in two best-selling books, died Tuesday of natural causes, according to J. Mark Mutter, township clerk and historian. Lomell was 91.

On the morning of June 6, 1944, Lomell and fellow members of the Army's 2nd Ranger Battalion landed on the beaches of France's Normandy region below Pointe du Hoc, a high promontory from which German artillery could fire on American landing zones.

The Rangers used grappling hooks and rope to scale the 100-foot cliff as German troops fired down on them. Sgts. Lomell and Jack Kuhn found the German's artillery and destroyed the guns with grenades and by smashing their sites, before enemy soldiers could use them. They destroyed the guns just minutes before the Allied landings were set to begin.

"As they were landing, Lomell felt a sharp pain in his lower back. He was sure another Ranger with whom he had been arguing the day before had hit him. He turned and gave the guy a whack. Lomell still laughs when he recalls how the other Ranger was stunned, saying "What's that all about? I did nothing to you.'

"Lomell didn't realize until later that, in fact, he'd been shot through the right side. He kept going despite the wound."

Lomell earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second-highest military honor, for his actions on D-Day. He also earned the U.S. Army's Silver Star for gallantry in action, for leading 130 Army Rangers to seize a German fortified observation post called Castle Hill 400, just days before the Battle of the Bulge.



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My grandfather's company of the 8th Infantry Division took hill 400 right alongside a company of the 2nd Rangers. He said they were great soldiers and took heavy losses taking and defending the hill, but he was always bothered that in the history books they make little mention of the 8th ID and other elements who were there alongside the Rangers taking and holding the hill. I remember watching a history channel program on the Hurtgen forest with him (one of the few productions they actually made about that horrible battle) and he got pissed off and was screaming at the TV when they said that companies of the 13th Infantry Regiment (his outfit) were pushed off the hill by the Germans and the Rangers had to go up there alone and save them. He was yelling how his company was never pushed off that hill and they dug in and held it right alongside the Rangers. I guess they want to give credit to our special forces though. Propaganda including the heroics of some infantry division most people have never heard of wouldn't be as effective.

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I hate to hear about these great men of this age range pass away....I feel that the men of this generation are not like anyone else and no other generation will be like them. The way that all the men in this generation seem to care and love their family so very much, would give you their shirt off their back, would do anything they can to help another person, and are so genuine. I mean I am only 27 years old so I don't have a lot of life experience yet, but I can just see a major difference in my grandfathers' generation than my age range and even up to individuals who are close to 50 or 60. Rest in peace sir.

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