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Bob Lind, Published August 04 2012

Lind: Ransom County was home of war hero

North Dakota’s Ransom County has many scenic attractions, as Forum writer Mike Nowatzki and photographer Carrie Snyder reported recently.

Ransom County also has another reason to be proud. It was the home of a man who, although he denied it, was a war hero.

Jumping into Normandy

Let’s turn to the book “Band of Brothers.” It was about E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, which participated in the World War II D-Day invasion. The book was made into a TV mini-series.

One of that company’s members, Myron “Mike” Ranney, grew up in Ransom County.

Bill Campbell, a native of Sanborn, N.D., and now of South Dakota (he didn’t say where), sent Neighbors a note about this.

Neighbors then went into The Forum’s files and found that the late columnist Terry DeVine had written about Mike.

Terry, a Vietnam War veteran, wrote in his column in 2001 that he had “more than a passing interest in things military,” adding, “I have a special feeling for World War II veterans because I truly believe they saved the world in the 1940s.”

Then he told about E Company (or, in militarese, Easy Company), as reported in “Band of Brothers.”

The company made its parachute jump into Normandy early on D-Day morning. It eventually was the outfit that captured Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” headquarters in the Bavarian Alps.

Now let’s pick up Terry’s column.

“A key member of Easy Company,” Terry wrote, “was Sgt. Myron ‘Mike’ Ranney, a Kensal, N.D., native, who grew up in Ransom County.

“After the war, Ranney earned a journalism degree at the University of North Dakota, then began a career as a reporter, newspaper editor and public relations consultant. He and his wife, Julia, had five daughters. He retired to write poetry and his memoirs, but died in September 1988 before he could get started.

“Ranney recalled that one of his seven grandsons once asked him, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’

“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘but I served in a company of heroes.’ ”

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If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com