Comissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduating from Texas A&M, James Earl Rudder was a teacher and coach before he was called to active duty in 1941. He trained U.S. Army Rangers for one of D-Day's most dangerous operations: taking Pointe du Hoc. He led the mission to success, though over half his men were killed or wounded in the assault, and Rudder himself was shot in the leg. After the war, Rudder served as president of Texas A&M, where he supported optional membership in the Corps of Cadets and helped open the university to women, despite great opposition. More»
For additional reading, Humanities Texas published an excerpt from Thomas M. Hatfield's 2011 book Rudder: From Leader to Legend in our June 2011 e-newsletter. The excerpt details the Second Ranger Battalion's first night on Pointe du Hoc.
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