LTC James E. Rudder Plaque - Pointe du Hoc
On an inside wall in the visitor center.
A rectangular bronze plaque bearing the State of Texas seal followed by the commemoration message. In November 1988, Governor Clements placed a plaque at Pointe du Hoc to commemorate the 1944 seizure by Texan Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion of German artillery on the cliff.
LTC Rudder’s U.S. Army Rangers stormed the beach at Pointe du Hoc, scaling 100-ft (30-m) cliffs under enemy fire to reach and destroy a German gun battery. The battalion's casualty rate for this perilous mission was greater than 50%. Rudder himself was wounded twice during the course of the fighting. By the time of preparations for D-Day, the Wehrmacht-run battery at the top of the Pointe was marked on the Allied D-Day maps as a Rangers D-Day target - confirmed in records found in the early 21st century. By the time of the invasion, Pointe du Hoc's artillery pieces had been moved to another nearby site, replaced by telephone poles. By 0900 hours on D-Day, a two man patrol from the Rangers located the Pointe's missing guns. Sergeant Lomell and Staff Sgt. Jack E. Kuhn, using thermite grenades, disabled two of the five artillery pieces and destroyed the sighting mechanism of another. While retrieving more grenades to finish the job, a second patrol, lead by Staff Sgt. Frank A. Rupinski, also located the artillery pieces, and disabled the remainder using thermite grenades. They started a fire in the powder charges and left the area, accomplishing the goal of destroying the artillery pieces that had been targeted at Utah Beach, but were also in range of Omaha Beach. Rudder ordered his men to dig in, and they fought off German counterattacks for two days until relieved. His men and he helped to successfully establish a beachhead for the Allied forces. The siege was replicated in the 1962 epic film The Longest Day.
Source of information: www.clementscenter.org, en.wikipedia.org
ON JUNE 6, 1944, LT. COL. JAMES EARL
RUDDER (1910-1970), A NATIVE TEXAN, LED
COMPANIES D, E, AND F OF THE UNITED
STATES ARMY’S 2ND RANGER BATTALION
IN THE CAPTURE AND NEUTRALIZATION
OF THE GERMAN COASTAL BATTERY AT
POINTE DU HOC. ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE
MISSION, WHICH INCLUDED SCALING THE
POINT’S ROCKY CLIFF, WAS SEEN AS CRUCIAL
TO THE SUCCESS OF THE ALLIED FORCES’
INVASION OF NORMANDY AND EVENTUAL
LIBERATION OF FRANCE. THE ORIGINAL
225 RUDDER’S RANGERS FOUGHT TWO
AND ONE HALF DAYS BEFORE RELIEF. 90 MEN
SURVIVED THE MISSION.
PRESENTED BY GOVERNOR WILLIAM P. CLEMENTS JR.
FOR THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS NOVEMBER 29, 1988