Charles W. Ryder

Major General Charles Wolcott Ryder CB (January 16, 1892 – August 17, 1960) was a senior United States Army officer who served with distinction in both World War I and World War II.

Charles Wolcott Ryder
Charles W. Ryder
BornJanuary 16, 1892
Topeka, Kansas, United States
DiedAugust 17, 1960 (aged 68)
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, United States
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1917–1950
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
UnitUSA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment
34th Infantry Division
IX Corps
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Purple Heart
World War I Victory Medal
American Campaign Medal
European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Order of the Bath
RelationsCharles W. Ryder Jr. (Son)


Early life and military career

Born in Topeka, Kansas in mid-January 1892 and was a Topeka High School graduate. In 1911 he entered the United States Military Academy (USMA), at West Point, New York. He graduated four years later as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Branch of the United States Army as part of the West Point class of 1915, also known as "the class the stars fell on". Among those he graduated with were Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, James Van Fleet, Joseph T. McNarney and many others who, like Ryder, would also attain general officer rank. Ryder's first assignment was with the 30th Infantry Regiment and, later, was on border duty near Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He then served with the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in New York and, by the time of the American entry into World War I he was a company commander in the 16th Infantry Regiment.[1]

Ryder, together with the rest of his regiment, which was now part of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the newly created 1st Infantry Division, was sent to the Western Front and arrived there in June 1917, one of the first units of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to be sent overseas in World War I. Promoted to captain, commanding Company 'B' of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry, Ryder and his regiment, not immediately engaged in combat, spent almost a year being trained in trench warfare tactics from the French Army. He was promoted to major on June 17, 1918 and assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment.

A month later, he led the battalion in the Battle of Soissons, suffering heavy casualties, including Ryder himself, who was wounded by German artillery but continued to lead his men. Of the 1,100 men of Ryder's battalion who went "over the top" on July 18, 1918, there were less than 50 remaining five days later. However, Ryder, in his first battle, had performed well and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award for valor in the face of the enemy, the Silver Citation Star and the Purple Heart.[2]

Wounded in the heart (which would affect him for the rest of his life), he spent the next few weeks recovering in the hospital and soon returned to the command of his battalion. He again led the battalion in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in early October 1918, where it captured Hill 272, a dominant terrain feature in the 1st Division's sector which had brought the division to a standstill for three days. After personally observing his battalion's objective, he gave verbal orders to his company commanders and outlined his plan of attack. On October 8 the division artillery concentrated fire on the hill and Ryder's battalion, with Ryder, as at Soissons, again leading from the front, attacked the hill at 8:30am the next day, under cover of a thick fog and supported by machine guns and a huge artillery barrage. Working in small units to outflank the enemy machine guns and mortars, capturing or destroying enemy positions, the battalion had, by 11:00am, secured all its objectives and captured more than 50 machine guns and began to consolidate its position. For his personal leadership in the battle Ryder was awarded with a second Distinguished Service Cross, two of twenty five to be awarded to men of the 1st Division.[3] World War I came to an end just over a month later with the signing of the Armistice with Germany coming into effect on November 11, 1918 at 11:00am. Ryder's war was over and the personal lessons he learned would remain with him and serve him well in the future.

Between the wars

After the end of the conflict Ryder remained in the army, served on occupation duties in France and Germany. Ryder had been decorated with two Distinguished Service Crosses, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his service in the war.[4]

Between the wars, Ryder served in various posts, including the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; the 15th Infantry in Tientsin, China and as Commandant of Cadets at West Point (1937–1941).

World War II

In 1941–1942, during World War II, he was chief of staff of the VI Corps. From May 1942 to July 1944, Ryder, promoted to major general, was Commanding General (CG) of the 34th Infantry Division, the first U.S. division deployed to Europe in World War II. He led the division through the Tunisia Campaign and the Italian Campaign, including the Operation Torch landings in French North Africa in November 1942 and many battles in Italy.


From September 2, 1944 to December 6, 1948, Ryder served as commanding general of the IX Corps, preparing for the invasion of Japan. After the Japanese surrender, he continued to serve as commanding general of the IX Corps during the occupation of Japan.

Ryder retired from the Army in 1950 and died on August 17, 1960, at the age of 68.


His son, Charles Wolcott Ryder Jr. was a USMA graduate in the Class of 1941 who served with the 90th Infantry Division, had an equally distinguished career and, like his father, also rose to the rank of major general.

Awards and Decorations

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Cross ribbon
Distinguished Service Cross (with oak leaf cluster)
U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal ribbon Army Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star Medal ribbon
Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit ribbon
Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster)
Purple Heart ribbon Purple Heart
Silver star
World War I Victory Medal ribbon
World War I Victory Medal (with Silver Citation Star)
American Defense Service Medal ribbon American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany Clasp)
Order of the Bath UK ribbon Companion of the Order of the Bath [5]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Atkinson, Rick (2 October 2007). The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (The Liberation Trilogy Book 2). 8013: Henry Holt and Co.
  5. ^ Companion of the Order of the Bath

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Russell P. Hartle
Commanding General 34th Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Charles L. Bolte
Preceded by
Commanding General IX Corps
Succeeded by
Leland Hobbs


was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar, the 1892nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 892nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 92nd year of the 19th century, and the 3rd year of the 1890s decade. As of the start of 1892, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.


1960 (MCMLX)

was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1960th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 960th year of the 2nd millennium, the 60th year of the 20th century, and the 1st year of the 1960s decade. It is also known as the "Year of Africa" because of major events—particularly the independence of seventeen African nations—that focused global attention on the continent and intensified feelings of Pan-Africanism.

34th Infantry Division (United States)

The 34th Infantry Division is an infantry division of the United States Army, part of the National Guard, that participated in World War I, World War II and multiple current conflicts. It was the first American division deployed to Europe in World War II, where it fought with great distinction in the Italian Campaign.The division was deactivated in 1945, and the 47th "Viking" Infantry Division later created in the division's former area. In 1991 the 47th Division was redesignated the 34th. Since 2001, division soldiers have served on homeland security duties in the continental United States, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. The 34th has also been deployed to support peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.The division continues to serve today, with most of the division part of the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard. In 2011, it was staffed by roughly 6,500 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard, 2,900 from the Iowa National Guard, about 300 from the Nebraska National Guard, and about 100 from other states.

78th Infantry Division (United Kingdom)

The 78th Infantry Division, also known as the Battleaxe Division, was an infantry division of the British Army, raised during World War II that fought, with great distinction, in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy from late 1942–1945.

Anzio order of battle

Anzio order of battle is a listing of the significant formations that were involved in the fighting for the Anzio bridgehead south of Rome, January 1944 – June 1944

Battle of Hill 609

The Battle of Hill 609 took place at Djebel Tahent in northwestern Tunisia during the Tunisia Campaign. The battle was for control over the key strategic height Hill 609 and its surrounding area between the American forces of the U.S. II Corps and German units of the Afrika Korps. The battle proved a formative experience for the American forces - in their first clear-cut victory of the campaign, and has been called "the American Army's coming-of-age."

Battle of Monte Cassino

The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle for Rome and the Battle for Cassino) was a costly series of four assaults by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by Axis forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II. The intention was a breakthrough to Rome.

At the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans holding the Rapido-Gari, Liri and Garigliano valleys and some of the surrounding peaks and ridges. Together, these features formed the Gustav Line. Monte Cassino, a historic hilltop abbey founded in AD 529 by Benedict of Nursia, dominated the nearby town of Cassino and the entrances to the Liri and Rapido valleys. Lying in a protected historic zone, it had been left unoccupied by the Germans, although they manned some positions set into the steep slopes below the abbey's walls.

Repeated pinpoint artillery attacks on Allied assault troops caused their leaders to conclude the abbey was being used by the Germans as an observation post, at the least. Fears escalated along with casualties and in spite of a lack of clear evidence, it was marked for destruction. On 15 February American bombers dropped 1,400 tons of high explosives, creating widespread damage. The raid failed to achieve its objective, as German paratroopers occupied the rubble and established excellent defensive positions amid the ruins.

On 16 May, soldiers from the Polish II Corps launched one of the final assaults on the German defensive position. On 18 May, a Polish flag followed by the British Union Jack were raised over the ruins. Following this Allied victory, the German Senger Line collapsed on 25 May.

Between 17 January and 18 May, Monte Cassino and the Gustav defences were assaulted four times by Allied troops, the last involving twenty divisions attacking along a twenty-mile front. The German defenders were finally driven from their positions, but at a high cost. The capture of Monte Cassino resulted in 55,000 Allied casualties, with German losses being far fewer, estimated at around 20,000 killed and wounded.

British First Army order of battle, 20 April 1943

This is the British First Army order of battle on 20 April 1943 during the Tunisia Campaign of World War II.

British First ArmyCommanded by: Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson

V CorpsCommanded by Lieutenant-General Charles Allfrey

British 25th Tank Brigade (less 51st (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment)

British 1st Infantry Division (Major-General Walter Clutterbuck)

British 4th Infantry Division (Major-General John Hawkesworth)

British 78th Infantry Division (Major-General Vyvyan Evelegh)

British IX CorpsCommanded by: Lieutenant-General John Crocker

51st (Leeds Rifles) Royal Tank Regiment

British 1st Armoured Division (Major-General Raymond Briggs)

British 6th Armoured Division (Major-General Charles Keightley)

British 46th Infantry Division (Major-General Harold Freeman-Attwood)

French XIX CorpsCommanded by: Lieutenant General Louis Koeltz

Brigade Légère Mécanique (Tank Group)

1st King's Dragoon Guards

Division d'Alger (Major General Pierre-Félix Conne)

Division du Maroc (Lieutenant General Maurice Mathenet)

Division d'Oran (Major-General Robert Boissau)

U.S. II Corps (co-ordinated by First Army but under direct control of 18th Army Group)Commanded by: Major General Omar Bradley

Corps francs d'Afrique (three battalions)

4th and 6th Tabors of Moroccan goumiers

U.S. 1st Armored Division (less one regiment) (Major General Ernest N. Harmon)

U.S. 1st Infantry Division (Major General Terry de la M. Allen)

U.S. 9th Infantry Division (Major General Manton S. Eddy)

U.S. 34th Infantry Division (Major General Charles W. Ryder)

Charles L. Bolte

General Charles Lawrence Bolte (May 8, 1895 – February 11, 1989) was a senior United States Army officer who fought in both World War I and World War II. In World War II he distinguished himself as commander of the 34th Infantry Division during the Italian Campaign, for which he was twice awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal. Later promoted to four-star general officer rank, his final post was Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

Leland Hobbs

Major General Leland Stanford Hobbs (February 4, 1892 – March 6, 1966) was a decorated senior United States Army officer who commanded the 30th Infantry Division in Western Europe during World War II.

List of Commandants of Cadets of the United States Military Academy

The Commandant of Cadets is the ranking officer in charge of the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The commandant is head of the Department of Tactics and, under the superintendent is responsible for the administration, discipline, and military training of cadets at the academy. A model for all cadets, the commandant is an academy graduate of impeccable character and bearing who has demonstrated accomplishment in both academic excellence and active military service in the field.

During the superintendency of Sylvanus Thayer, the corps of cadets was organized into a battalion of two companies with an officer of the army appointed as commander. In 1825, the office was designated as commandant of cadets. William J. Worth was the first officer to bear the title, though he had assumed the office several years previously, following three earlier battalion commanding officers.

Referring to the office in his work on Commandant Emory Upton, academy professor Peter Michie wrote: "His example should be that of the ideal soldier, officer, and gentleman. He should cultivate soldierly honor among the cadets until it attains vigorous growth. He should rebuke with severity the first tendency to prevarication or dishonesty in word or act. With a system of divided responsibility, which ultimately rests on one or two comrades, he should control all by strict and increasing exactions. To make his government successful he should be endowed with the highest soldierly qualities in personal bearing at drill, and even in every act while subject to vision of his corps"

Omar Bradley

General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was a senior officer of the United States Army during and after World War II. Bradley was the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and oversaw the U.S. military's policy-making in the Korean War.

Born in Randolph County, Missouri, Bradley worked as a boilermaker before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from the academy in 1915 alongside Dwight D. Eisenhower as part of "the class the stars fell on." During World War I, Bradley guarded copper mines in Montana. After the war, Bradley taught at West Point and served in other roles before taking a position at the War Department under General George Marshall. In 1941, Bradley became commander of the United States Army Infantry School.

After the U.S. entrance into World War II, Bradley oversaw the transformation of the 82nd Infantry Division into the first American airborne division. He received his first front-line command in Operation Torch, serving under General George S. Patton in North Africa. After Patton was reassigned, Bradley commanded II Corps in the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Sicily. He commanded the First United States Army during the Invasion of Normandy. After the breakout from Normandy, he took command of the Twelfth United States Army Group, which ultimately comprised forty-three divisions and 1.3 million men, the largest body of American soldiers ever to serve under a single field commander.

After the war, Bradley headed the Veterans Administration. He became Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1948 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1949. In 1950, Bradley was promoted to the rank of General of the Army, becoming the last of only nine people to be promoted to five-star rank in the United States Armed Forces. He was the senior military commander at the start of the Korean War, and supported President Harry S. Truman's wartime policy of containment. He was instrumental in persuading Truman to dismiss General Douglas MacArthur in 1951 after MacArthur resisted administration attempts to scale back the war's strategic objectives. Bradley left active duty in 1953 (though remaining on "active retirement" for the next 27 years), then continued to serve in public and business roles until his death in 1981.

Operation Diadem order of battle

Operation Diadem order of battle is a listing of the significant formations that were involved in the fighting on the Winter Line and at the Anzio bridgehead south of Rome during Operation Diadem in May - June 1944 which resulted in the Allied breakthrough at Cassino and the breakout at Anzio leading to the capture of Rome.

Operation Torch

Operation Torch (8–16 November 1942) was an Anglo–American invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. It was aimed at reducing pressure on Allied forces in Egypt, and enabling an invasion of Southern Europe. It also provided the ‘second front’ which the Soviet Union had been requesting since it was invaded by the Germans in 1941. The region was dominated by the Vichy French, officially Nazi-controlled, but with mixed loyalties, and reports indicated that they might support the Allied initiative. The American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanding the operation, planned a 3-pronged attack, aimed at Casablanca (Western), Oran (Center) and Algiers (Eastern), in advance of a rapid move on Tunis.

The Western Task Force encountered unexpected resistance, as well as bad weather, but Casablanca, the principal French Atlantic naval base, was captured after a short siege. The Center Task Force suffered some damage to its fleet, trying to land in shallow water, but the enemy ships were sunk or driven off, and Oran surrendered after heavy fire from British battleships. The Eastern Task Force met less opposition because the French Resistance had staged a coup in Algiers, and the Allies were able to push inland and compel surrender on the first day.

The success of Torch caused the commander of French forces in the region, Admiral Darlan, to order full co-operation with the Allies, in return for being retained as High Commissioner, with many Vichy officials keeping their jobs. But Darlan was assassinated soon after, and De Gaulle’s Free French gradually came to dominate the government.

Operation Torch was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out anywhere by the United States.

Russell P. Hartle

Major General Russell Peter Hartle (June 26, 1889 – November 23, 1961) was a senior United States Army officer who fought in World War I and World War II, where he commanded the 34th Infantry Division and V Corps in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

Ryder (name)

Ryder is both a surname and masculine given name. Notable people with the name include:


Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847–1917), American painter

Alfred Ryder (1916–1995) American actor, born Alfred Jacob Corn.

Arthur W. Ryder (1877–1938) American professor of Sanskrit and translator

Charles W. Ryder (1892–1960), US Army General

Chauncey Foster Ryder (1868–1949), American painter

Cynthia Ryder (born 1966), American rower

Derek Ryder (born 1947), English footballer

Dial D. Ryder (1938-2011), American gunsmith

Don Ryder, Baron Ryder of Eaton Hastings (1916–2003), chairman of the UK National Enterprise Board, responsible for the 1975 Ryder Report

Donald J. Ryder, U.S. military lawyer, responsible for the 2003 Ryder Report on prisoner abuse in Iraq

Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby (1762–1847), English politician

Dudley Ryder, 2nd Earl of Harrowby (1798–1882), English politician

Dudley Ryder, 3rd Earl of Harrowby (1831–1900), English politician

Dudley Ryder, 7th Earl of Harrowby (1922–2007), deputy chairman of Coutts bank and NatWest

Graham Ryder (1949–2002), English lunar scientist

Henry Ignatius Dudley Ryder (1837-1907), English Roman Catholic priest

James A. Ryder (1800–1860), American Jesuit priest

Jesse Ryder, New Zealand cricketer

John Ryder (disambiguation), multiple people

Jonathan Ryder, pseudonym of American thriller author Robert Ludlum

Michael Ryder (born 1980), NHL hockey player

Mitch Ryder (born 1945), American musician

Patrick Ryder (born 1988), Australian football player

Richard Ryder (19th century politician) (1766–1832), British 19th century politician

Richard Andrew Ryder (born 1949), British politician

Richard D. Ryder (born 1940), British animal rights activist

Robert Edward Dudley Ryder (1908–1986), British military hero and politician

Samuel Ryder (1858–1936), businessman and golf enthusiast

Serena Ryder (born 1983), Canadian singer/songwriter

Shaun Ryder (born 1962), British singer and songwriter

Tom Ryder (born 1985), Anglo-Scot rugby union player

William T. Ryder (1913 – 1992), Brigadier general and first American paratrooper

Dr Andrew Ryder (born 1964) researcher and campaigner for Roma communities

Winona Ryder (born 1971), American actress

James A. Ryder, founder of Ryder System, Inc.

Zack Ryder (born 1985), ring name of American professional wrestler Matt CardonaGiven name:

Ryder Hesjedal (born 1980), Canadian professional racing cyclist

Ryder Matos Santos (born 1993), Brazilian footballer

Ryder Windham, American writerFictional characters:

Honey Ryder, the Bond girl in the film Dr. No

Charles Ryder, the protagnaist of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited

James Ryder, in The Blue Carbuncle, a Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle

Lance "Ryder" Wilson, a fictional character in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Red Ryder, a fictional cowboy character

Ryder, a fictional character in the Marvel Universe

Ryder Callahan, a character on the American soap opera The Young and the Restless

John Ryder, a character in the 1986 film The Hitcher and its 2007 remake

Ryder, the main human character of the animated TV series PAW Patrol

Ryder, the protagonist of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel The Unconsoled

Scott / Sara Ryder, main character of the videogame Mass Effect: Andromeda

Ryder White, a character in the video game series Dead Island.

Ryder Van Woodsen, the main character in contemporary romance novel and interactive story game Knight in Shining Suit written by Jerilee Kaye

Mr. Ryder, the biracial main character of Charles W. Chesnutt's short story The Wife of His Youth

Stafford LeRoy Irwin

Lieutenant General Stafford LeRoy Irwin (March 23, 1893 – November 23, 1955) was a senior United States Army officer who served in World War II. He came from a family with a strong military tradition; he was the son of Major General George LeRoy Irwin, for whom Fort Irwin, California is named, and his grandfather, Brigadier General Bernard J. D. Irwin, was a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The class the stars fell on

The class the stars fell on is an expression used to describe the United States Military Academy Class of 1915. In the United States Army, the insignia reserved for generals is one or more stars. Of the 164 graduates that year, 59 (36%) attained the rank of general, more than any other class in the history of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; hence the expression. Two reached the rank of five-star General of the Army. There were also two four-star generals, seven three-star lieutenant generals, 24 two-star major generals, and 24 one-star brigadier generals. Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the five-star generals, went on to become the 34th President of the United States.The term "the class the stars fell on" had previously been applied to the class of 1886, which produced a large number of general officers for World War I. Of this class, which included John J. Pershing, Charles T. Menoher, and Mason Patrick, 25 out of 77 (32%) became generals.

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