When Federated Suns forces invaded Palos as part of their sixth wave of attacks of Operation RAT, they found it defended by the Second Confederation Reserve Cavalry and twenty assorted veteran infantry and tank regiments. The AFFS assigned two regiments of the Twelfth Vegan Rangers to lead the attack - Gamma and Delta Regiments - supported by a dozen conventional regiments. The landing zones chosen by the Rangers were in the Docarshon Valley, a barren region some two hundred kilometers south the of planetary capital city, Xer, and were contested by the Capellan forces. Capellan aerospace fighters managed to breach the Rangers' fighter screen and severely damaged two Ranger DropShips, the Union-class Vegan Thunder and the Leopard-class Ranger's Creed. Although both DropShips were able to unload their 'Mechs, the Ranger's Creed was destroyed when it tumbled in the atmosphere and crashed on the surface of the planet.
Having been chastised by the Capellan Operations Command for abusive behavior towards the population of Wei, the Rangers attempted to be conciliatory towards the population of Palos. The population complained volubly about damage to crops, prompting the Rangers to attempt to restrict their movement to roads and to limit damage to croplands, up until the 9th of September - when an ambush by the Second CRC inflicted damage on the Rangers by taking advantage of their constrained movement. Incensed by the ambush, Colonel Mitch Nelson ordered the Rangers to return to standard tactics, drew a battalion from the Second CRC out of hidden positions in the Xertian Hills and promptly destroyed it - after a publicly recorded refusal on the part of Major Aaron Derfick of the Cavalry. The recordings of the battle, which also saw damage inflicted on a regiment of infantry and a regiment of armor that had accompanied the Cavalry, were subsequently broadcast to Xer, and prompted the remainder of the Second CRC to withdraw from Palos, leaving the militia to surrender.
He most probably died during that battle.
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2, p. 53-54, "Palos"