RANGERS Rudder, James Earl (Jim)

Chindit Column
By Charles Carfrae

John Robertson

Staff member
James Earl (Jim)
  • UNIT
2 Ranger Bn (Company A)
  • RANK
Lieutenant Colonel
Distinguished Service Cross
Normandy 1944
from Eden, Texas
born 6.5.1910 Eden, Concho County, Texas
son of Dee Forest and Annie (nee Powell) Rudder
attended John Tarleton Agricultural College 1928-29
graduated Texas A&M University 1932
commissioned 2Lt,USAR 1932
football coach and teacher, Brady High School, Texas
football coach and teacher, Tarleton Agricultural College
called up for service 1941
2 Ranger Bn (Company A)
WIA 6.6.1944 Normandy
109 Infantry Regiment (C.O.) 1944-45
awards DSC, Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion d'Honneur (Fr), Croix de Guerre with palm (Fr), Order of Leopold (Bel), Croix de Guerre with palm (Bel)
Colonel 1945
Brigadier General, USAR 1954
Major General, USAR 1957
Mayor, Brady, Texas 1946-52
Vice President, Brady Aviation Company 1953
State Land Commissioner 1955=58
Vice President, Texas A&M University 1958 (President 1959)
awarded D.S.M. 1967
married Margaret E. Williamson 12.6.1937 (died 2004) (5 children)
died 23.3.1970 Houston, Texas


Distinguished Service Cross : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) James Earl Rudder (ASN: 0-294916), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 2d Ranger Infantry Battalion, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, at Normandy, France. Lieutenant Colonel Rudder, commanding Force "A" of the Rangers, landed on the beach with his unit which was immediately subjected to heavy rifle, machine gun, mortar and artillery fire. Devastating fire was also directed from the cliffs overlooking the beach. Completely disregarding his own safety, Lieutenant Colonel Rudder immediately scaled the cliffs in order to better direct the attack. By his determined leadership and dauntlessness he inspired his men so that they successfully withstood three enemy counterattacks. Though wounded again he still refused to be evacuated. Lieutenant Colonel Rudder's heroic leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Silver Star : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) James Earl Rudder (ASN: 0-294916), United States Army, for gallantry in action while Commanding the 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, in action against the enemy from 16 to 27 December 1944, in Germany. Lieutenant Colonel Rudder's regiment was attacked by vastly superior numbers of enemy forces on extended positions held in the vicinity of Bastendorf, Vianden, and Brandenburg, Germany. Lieutenant Colonel Rudder, as Regimental Commander, quickly estimated the difficult situation at the beginning of the attack. Through the skillful handling of his troops he was able to direct numerous counter-thrusts against the forceful attacking enemy. At great personal risk to himself, Lieutenant Colonel Rudder also made frequent trips to subordinate units, through enemy-infiltrated territory and under heavy enemy artillery fire. After assigning new and more advantageous defensive positions to his Combat Team, Lieutenant Colonel Rudder directed, during heavy enemy shelling, the destruction of bridges in the path of the enemy after his troops had passed over them. His outstanding tactical ability permitted his Regiment to inflict high casualties on the enemy with a minimum loss to his own troops. During this action, he is also credited with stopping an enemy offensive that threatened a large area to the south and west of his defensive positions. By his gallant and skillful leadership, Lieutenant Colonel Rudder reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

Army Distinguished Service Medal : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General James Earl Rudder (ASN: 0-294916), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, as Commanding General, 90th Infantry Division, Austin, Texas, during the period from December 1954 to June 1967. Under his inspirational leadership, the 90th Infantry Division accomplished assigned missions in an outstanding manner and attained paramount standards of morale and es sprit de corps. General Rudder's civilian occupation as President of Texas A & M College, College Station, Texas, the largest college Reserve Officers Training Corps unit in Continental United States, added much prestige to the Army ROTC program as a whole due to the high esteem in which he is held throughout Texas and the Southwest. This prestige intensified an effective promotion of public relations for the Army Reserve. General Rudder's administrative influence was felt throughout his dispersed division even to the smallest unit. His skillful management consistently produced high quality performance both in Reserve training activities and during the Division's Annual Active Duty Training. As Deputy Commanding General for Mobilization, USCONARC, General Rudder's knowledge of the status of Reserve training and his grasp of the problems incident to Mobilization activities contributed materially to the success of the Army Reserve program. His intense interest in Reserve affairs and his unyielding efforts on behalf of the Army Reserve program have served to ensure a place of prominence for the Army Reserve in the Armed Forces structure of the United States. Major General Rudder's distinguished performance of duty throughout this period represents outstanding achievement in the most cherished and honored traditions of the United States Army and reflects utmost credit upon himself and the military service.


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