75 years after elite force formed-up in Carrickfergus
There a special welcome being planned this summer for a newly refurbished museum that celebrates the establishment of the US Rangers.
The Rangers, an elite American commando-style force, was set up during World War Two (WWII) – and remains the only US military unit to be formed on ‘foreign soil’.The 1st Battalion, US Rangers, under the command of their dynamic leader Col. William O. Darby, were activated on 19th June, 1942.
Now on the 75th anniversary, Darby’s Rangers are being commemorated with the re-opening of the newly refurbished museum, at Boneybefore, Carrickfergus. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will lead local celebrations on 17 June, with a formal civic commemoration to pay tribute to the US Rangers, followed by a family-friendly launch event at the US Rangers Museum.
The celebrations will be a family affair. Visitors can expect to meet WWII re-enactors representing all the Ranger Battalions of the period, who will be on site in an authentic US Army camp setting and can even learn some war time dance moves.
Genuine artefacts will also be on display with experts on hand to explain them. With music, craft, food, it’ll be an action packed afternoon, but the main attraction will be the official re-opening of US Rangers Museum. Located at the adjacent Andrew Jackson Cottage, the museum is dedicated to the men of the first battalions of the elite American army unit - formed at Sunnylands Camp in Carrickfergus in June 1942 - this ‘Commando style’ unit was made up solely of volunteers.
They trained in extreme conditions and fought in some of the deadliest battles in Europe to become one of WWII’s most courageous and decorated units.
The original museum was first opened in 1994, following a 50th anniversary event when visiting US Rangers veterans generously gave their photographs and memorabilia to create a permanent exhibition. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is proud to continue the Ranger legacy and its connection to Carrickfergus.
Now given a new lease of life, the new visually striking displays will include never seen before artefacts and photographs as well as extensive film footage. The updated museum will offer a high quality visitor experience which aims to be a fitting tribute to the men who volunteered their services to the elite fighting force the US Rangers, in Carrickfergus and beyond.