Charles W. Ryder bigraphy, stories - Recipient of the Purple Heart medal

Charles W. Ryder : biography

January 16, 1892 - August 17, 1960

Charles Wolcott Ryder, CB (January 16, 1892 – August 17, 1960), during World War II, was a U.S. Army Major General who commanded the 34th Infantry Division in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, and the IX Corps in the Pacific Theater of Operations.


Ryder was born on January 16, 1892 in Topeka, Kansas. In 1915 he graduated from the United States Military Academy. In 1917–1919, he served as a Major and then Lt. Colonel in the 16th and 26th Infantry Regiments, of the 1st Infantry Division in France and Germany.

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). In 1941–1942, he was chief of staff of the VI Corps. From May 1942 to July 1944, Major General Ryder was commander of the 34th Infantry Division, the first U.S. division deployed to Europe in World War II. He led the division through the North African and Italian campaigns, including the landings at Algiers and at Salerno.

From September 2, 1944 to December 6, 1948, Ryder was Commanding General, IX Corps, preparing for the invasion of Japan, and — after the surrender of Japan — serving in the occupation of Japan.

His son, Charles Wolcott Ryder, Jr. was USMA class of 1941 who had a distinguished career and rose to the rank of Major General.

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

Awards and Decorations

number=1|type=oak|ribbon=Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg|width=60}} Distinguished Service Cross (with oak leaf cluster)
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=60}} Distinguished Service Medal
number=1|type=oak|ribbon=Silver Star ribbon-3d.svg|width=60}} Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster)
number=1|type=oak|ribbon=Legion of Merit ribbon.svg|width=60}} Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster)
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Purple Heart BAR.svg|width=60}} Purple Heart
number=5|type=service-star|ribbon=World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg|width=60}} World War I Victory Medal (with Silver Citation Star)
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg|width=60}} American Campaign Medal
number=0|type=service-star|ribbon=European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg|width=60}} European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg|width=60}} World War II Victory Medal
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Army of Occupation ribbon.svg|width=60}} Army of Occupation Medal (with Japan Clasp)
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png|width=60}} Companion of the Order of the Bath
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