The 1st Ranger Battalion was officially activated at Carrickfergus, Ireland, on 19 June 1942, and it first action was at Dieppe. The first use of Rangers was a spearhead to the North African invasion. Rangers took part in the invasion of Sicily and Italy, spearhead the night landings at Anzio, and during the invasion of Normandy the 2nd Ranger Battalion assaulted, captured and held German positions atop the cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc. Later, Rangers distinguished themselves in the battles of Brest, the Bulge, Hurtgen Forest and throughout central Europe. The 6th Ranger Battalion was the first American force to return to the Philippines, landing in advance of the main force. It took part in the landings on Luzon, and on 30 January 1945, a daring raid behind enemy lines to rescue POW survivors of the Batann Death March.