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.
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.
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.
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.
of Ranger James Hudnell