Myron N. Ranney

Myron N. Ranney
Nickname(s) Mike
Born (1922-11-21)November 21, 1922[1]
Kensal, North Dakota, United States
Died September 22, 1988(1988-09-22) (aged 65)[1]
Buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery [1]
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
101st Airborne Division

World War II

Relations -Russell Ranney (father)
-Lucy Ranney (mother)

Staff Sergeant Myron N. "Mike" Ranney (11 November 1922  22 September 1988)[1] was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Ranney was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Stephen Graham. Ranney's life story was featured in the 2010 book A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us.


Ranney was born in Kensal, North Dakota to Russell and Lucy Ranney as their only child.[2] Ranney attended the University of North Dakota before the Attack on Pearl Harbor took place.[3]

Military service

Ranney enlisted and volunteered for paratroopers. He was sent to Toccoa, Georgia and was assigned to Easy Company, led by Captain Herbert Sobel. Ranney was one of the 140 original Toccoa men of Easy Company. Ranney was quickly made one of the staff sergeants of the unit.

Ranney and Terrence "Salty" Harris were the two NCOs to start the mutiny against Captain Sobel. They convinced other NCOs to join and the participating NCOs threatened to resign their posts unless Sobel was removed. The next day, Ranney was arrested by Military Police. Colonel Sink busted both Harris and Ranney to rank of private; Ranney was transferred to Item Company of the 3rd Battalion[4] and Harris was going to be a Pathfinder in Able Company but he was transferred back to Easy Company on 1 June 1944.[5]

Ranney made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day. He linked up with Easy Company men William Guarnere, Donald Malarkey, Lynn Compton, and Robert "Popeye" Wynn upon landing, and later found Lieutenant Winters. Ranney participated in the Brécourt Manor Assault, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions. Richard Winters, who led the assault, considered Ranney as one of "Easy Company's killers" who "instinctively understood the intricacies of battle".[6] Ranney was promoted back to Sergeant after the battle in France.

Ranney jumped into the Netherlands on 17 September 1944 for Operation Market Garden. On 2 October 1944, he accidentally shot himself with a pistol that he just cleaned, and was evacuated to England later.[7] Ranney was sent back to the States on 1 December 1944. He was officially discharged on 24 April 1945.[8]

Later life

Ranney returned to the University of North Dakota and switched to a journalism major. He married Julia Hutchinson in 1946 and had 5 children.[9] The couple divorced in 1971, remarried 4 years later but divorced again after 2 years.[10]

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.[11]

Beginning in 1946, Ranney, Bob Rader, and Walter "Smokey" Gordon started Easy Company reunions. Ranney was the principal organizer of the initial reunions.[12]

The Quote

The Famous Quote:

"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'."

The quote was written by Ranney in a letter he wrote to Richard D. Winters on 25 January 1982.[13]


Ranney died on 22 September 1988 of a heart attack.[14]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Myron N. Ranney's Memorial.
  2. p.150, Brotherton
  3. p.152
  4. p.255, Brotherton
  5. p.157
  6. p.94, Winters
  7. p.159-160, Brotherton
  8. p.161, Brotherton
  9. p.161-162, Brotherton
  10. p.164, Brotherton
  11. p.163, Brotherton
  12. p.258, Winters
  13. Location 37, Brotherton
  14. p.165, Brotherton


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