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 Aaron Bank

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Aaron Bank

  • Birth 23 Nov 1902 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Death 1 Apr 2004 Dana Point, Orange County, California, USA
  • Burial Riverside, Riverside County, California, USA
  • Plot Section 17, Site 421
  • Memorial ID 8609528

United States Army Officer. A Colonel in the United States Army, he was the founder of the elite United States Army Special Forces. commonly referred to as "The Green Berets". He was a lifeguard for many years before World War II, but joined the Army in 1939. Because he was nearing 40, he was considered too old for combat, and was assigned as a Captain to the Office of Strategic Services, Special Operations branch. Being fluent in French, he led Operation Jedburgh in 1944, parachuting into France along with two Frenchmen, an officer and a radio operator. They rallied French opposition and liberated several towns. In 1944 and 1945, he led Operation Iron Cross, where he posed as a Nazi soldier, attempting to capture Nazi German dictator Adolph Hitler and bring him before a war crimes tribunal. After the war, he stayed with the Army, and convinced the Army to create a unit with the same duties of the SO division of the disbanded OSS. He hand-picked the first members of the 10th Special Forces unit, subjecting them to harsh training in hand-to-hand combat, guerilla warfare, rock climbing, amphibious warfare, and the use of explosives for demolition. He suggested the unit should wear special berets to distinguish them from other units, but Army regulations would not allow it. President John F. Kennedy gave a special order allowing the berets, choosing the color green. Bank retired from the Army in 1958. He wrote the book "From OSS to Green Berets: the Birth of Special Forces" about his role in creating the Green Berets. In 2002, President George W. Bush gave him a commendation for creating the techniques used to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. He died in an assisted living facility in Dana Point, California, at the age of 101.

Bio by: Dustin Oliver


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FATHER OF SPECIAL FORCES


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Dustin Oliver
  • Added: 7 Apr 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8609528
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Aaron Bank (23 Nov 1902–1 Apr 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8609528, citing Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, Riverside County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .