Knudson meets his former Commanding Officer and friend, known to
Knudson as General, known to the U.S. public as President Dwight
D. Eisenhower at the time this photo was taken in a reunion in
Ames, IA 1958
by his nephew:
A. Knudson was a 1937 graduate of Wentworth Mil Academy in
Lexington, Missouri. He enlisted with the IA National Guard
in Dec 1940 at Marshalltown, IA. He was recommended for commission
as a 2nd Lt in Dec 1940 with the 168th IA
National Guard while attending the University of IA. Having
completed courses in Aerial Photography Reading, Care and
Operation of Motor Vehicles, Administration I and II, Leadership
(Platoon Leader), Weapons (Heavy Weapons Company, Tanks),
Defense against Chemical Warfare, Combat Training, Mil History,
Mil Law, Property, Emergency Procurement, and Funds, he was sent to
Camp Claiborne, LA for six weeks of infantry training. By
Executive Order dated 14 Jan 1941 he was appointed a 2nd Lt.
was commissioned May 10, 1941 while at Fort Dix, NJ with
the 168th. In the spring of 1941 Dean was sent to Ft.
Benning, GA to attend the Refresher Courses in Rifle and
Heavy and Special New Weapons for CO's, where he met Col.
Darby who informed him of a new, all volunteer unit being
formed, called Ranger, so he volunteered. On 1 Feb 1942 Dean
was promoted to 1st Lt. In April 1942, he sailed with
the 34th Division for Carrickfergus, N. Ireland and
June 1942, Dean was hand selected by Major Darby to be Commander
of 1st Platoon of Company "B' of the 1st Ranger Battalion.
He was among the officers who toured Commando training
facilities finally deciding on the facility at Achnacarry,
Scotland for Ranger Training.
led the 1st Platoon of Co "B" in "Operation Torch", the
invasion of North Africa, in the Nov 1942 night landing
at Arzew and the attack on Fort de la Pointe. Here his platoon
was in the center of a cemetery with mortars some 225 yards from
the Fort. He was also with the 1st Ranger Battalion at
Kasserine Pass. It is here that it is believed Dean was wounded
in the stomach and received a Purple Heart and a Bronze, or
Silver Star but it has not been substantiated. After his
recovery he was transferred to limited service Intelligence
Section North Africa and was involved in the exchange of
coffee, cigarettes, and nylon hose with the Arabs for our downed
Army Air Corp pilots, keeping them out of German
was sent back to the states in May 1943 and on to Ft.
Benning, GA in June 1943 where he was promoted again to
Captain and worked with four other 1st Ranger Battalion officers
in the training of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, then at Camp
Forrest, TN with the 5th Ranger Battalion until
November 1943. He was then transferred to Infantry School, Ft.
Benning, GA as an instructor in the Weapons Section. Dean
was discharged from the U.S. Army Rangers with the rank of Brevet Major May 16, 1946.