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A Ranger Who Led the Way!

Honoring James Hudnell, D Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion
A more elite soldier who arrived by land or sea ... 



Ranger James Hudnell



Dad only served with "D" Co., 2nd Ranger Battalion for approximately seven months.  He joined them in England in March '44 after several members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion were released due to sickness, injuries, and the inability to handle the rigorous training.  Dad had gone through some specialized training in the States before going to England (mountain training in West Virginia and underwater training in Norfolk), so he either volunteered, or was volunteered.  I have never gotten this part of the story straight.  

Dad trained with the 2nd Battalion Rangers until the D-Day invasion,  he traveled across the English Channel, and was in the landing craft with his company commander, Duke Slater, when it was swamped in the Channel. 

There were some soldiers who drowned (four, I think),  the rest were picked up in the Channel and then (due to medical problems suffered from their time in the water) taken back to hospitals in England.  Several of the D-Day books mention that the Rangers did not want to miss the action at Pointe Du Hoc by going back to the hospital, but Dad never mentioned this.  

He along, with the rest of his Ranger buddies. were returned to France approximately two weeks after D-Day and Dad fought with them until September when he was severely wounded by a German mortar shell. Taken back to England to the hospital again, he had fragments in his stomach, leg and face.  The fragments in his leg caused major damage and later turned into gangrene, which took him out of action for several months.  When he returned to France, he was reassigned to a Construction Engineer battalion the remaining months of the war.

Ron Hudnell

son of Ranger James Hudnell

submitted September 2002



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