Salute to a Fallen Ranger Legend

 

SFC Douglas McArthur Perry, Ranger, age 78, of Dahlonega, Georgia passed away on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Mr. Perry was born on June 8, 1941 in the Mill Creek Community of Dawsonville, Georgia to the late Homer Perry and the late Lois Louise Crawford Perry. He was a dedicated member of the U.S. Mountain Ranger Association, the American Legion, and Blue Mountain Lodge #38 F&AM. Doug will be remembered for many things, including all of his great military achievements, but to those friends and family who knew him best, he will always be remembered as a generous man who loved his family, cooking, and making the best pickled peppers that you have ever tasted.

In March 1959 Ranger Perry enlisted in the U.S. Army. Following Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training he was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division in Germany where he would spend two years as a rifleman and Fire Team Leader honing his Infantry techniques and leadership in demanding field exercises. In 1961 he was reassigned to the 2nd Ranger Company, Mountain Ranger Camp, Dahlonega, Georgia, where he made the grade of NCO. He attended the U.S. Army Ranger School, Class 6-62 and was designated Enlisted Honor Graduate. After Ranger School he attended the Jungle Warfare School in the Panama Canal Zone. For twenty years Ranger Perry's Army assignments would encompass all aspects of an Infantryman, Paratrooper, and an Army Ranger throughout the world, including nine years as a Ranger Instructor and tours in South Vietnam as a combat Ranger. Sergeant Perry's technical competence in many diverse skills such as Airborne/Airmobile operations, demolitions, weaponry, patrolling and mountaineering was invaluable to the Mountain Ranger Committee and to the thousands of students that he taught. He made numerous significant and lasting contributions to the upgrading of the Ranger Course. Due to his experience and expertise, Perry was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division's Counter-Guerilla Warfare School in Korea. The school's mission was to teach and train the Division's rifle companies in Ranger techniques and counter insurgency as well as small unit leadership. This was of dire importance because of continuous altercations in the DMZ by the North Koreans in the form of ambushes and attempted infiltrations. Many of the soldiers he trained would use their acquired knowledge in future assignments in South Vietnam. In 1966 Ranger Perry deployed to Vietnam as a U.S. Army Ranger Advisor to the South Vietnamese Ranger units. He served back-to-back tours with two of the most decorated combat units in Vietnam - the 42nd and 44th Vietnamese Ranger Battalions. The 44th was the first unit – American or Vietnamese – to be awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. The 42nd received the Presidential Unit Citation twice. Ranger Perry was assigned to the U.S. Army Alaska Command in 1970 as a Platoon Sergeant and the acting First Sergeant of Company C ABN, 6th Battalion, 9th Infantry. This company had the distinction of being the "Most Northern Airborne Unit" in the U.S. Army. The unit conducted Airborne and field operations in extreme Arctic temperatures as much as fifty degrees below zero in harsh weather conditions. Ranger Perry's last assignment was with the 14th Company TSB, Fort Benning, Georgia. He was the First Sergeant of the 400 member unit until his retirement in 1979. Ranger Perry's military qualifications and awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Canadian Parachutists Badge, Vietnamese Ranger Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/ Palm.

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