COL William O. Darby '33 - 40-Mile Ranger Challenge Hike

On April 30 of each year, a group in Italy conducts a 40-Mile Ranger Challenge Hike along the eastern shore of Lake Garda from Peschiera del Garda in the south to Torbole in the north in memory of BG William O. Darby '33 – the first commander of the WWII Ranger Battalions. COL Darby was serving as the ADC of the 10th Mountain Division on April 30, 1945 when he was struck by shrapnel from a German artillery shell. He died within the hour – the war in Europe ended a week later. He was promoted to BG posthumously. Hikers/runners finish the 40-mile event by touching the top of the memorial to COL Darby in the Torbole churchyard where he was KIA. There will be individual and team soldiers from various military commands in Europe as well as local Italian citizens participating in the event. It is open to all hikers and runners. You do not have to be a Ranger to participate. More information can be found on the Facebook page at or by contacting Ron Hudnell, ’69 at, a two-time participant (and record holder for the 60+ age group!)

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