Edson Raff

Military Person

1907 – 2003


Who was Edson Raff?

Edson Duncan Raff was an officer in the US Army and author of a book on paratroopers. He served as commanding officer of the first American paratroop unit to jump into combat, the 2nd Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, near Oran as part of Operation Torch. His book, We Jumped to Fight, was based on his experience in that operation and was published in 1944.

Raff had served as First Captain of Cadets at a small prep school in Winchester, Virginia called the Shenandoah Valley Academy before serving in the Army. Due to the tough training course he gave the paratroopers in the 509th, Raff was nicknamed "Little Caesar" by them. He first saw combat during Operation Torch as the commander of the 509th:

...the main force with Lieutenant Colonel Raff also jumped early some 35 miles east of the objective airfields. Although he broke several ribs in a hard landing, Lieutenant Colonel Raff continued to lead his paratroopers toward their objectives. After a full day and a night forced march, a company of weary paratroopers reached the airfield at Tafaraoui on the morning of November 9. Both airfields had already been captured by Allied amphibious forces.

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Nov 15, 1907
  • United States of America
  • United States Military Academy
Mar 11, 2003

on July 23, 2013


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"Edson Raff." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Sep. 2023. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/edson_raff>.

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