General Charles W. Ryder

Author: unknown
Puka Puka Parades, May 1947, vol. 2 no. 3

Biography of honorary Club 100 member General Charles W. Ryder of the 34th Division

“Yes, we will go home–when the war is over,” said General Ryder several Christmases ago in the vicinity of Alife, Italy, in mud and rain when he addressed the l33rd Infantry Regiment. He was right we did go home when the war was over. From the Cork Forest of Africa to the hills overlooking Livorno, General Ryder made the One Puka Puka, long an orphan in the U. S. Army an integral part of the 34th Division. The respect that General Ryder had for the 100th Infantry Battalion will long be remembered and cherished by the men of the 100th.

It was in May of 1942 that General Ryder first assumed command of the 34th in northern Ireland. But in the invasion of Africa, he was made Commanding General of the Eastern Assault Force, a combined British-American Force of about 40,000 Army, Air, and Navy troops which captured Algiers.

He commanded the 34th through the Tunisian Campaign including engagements at Pichon, Sbide, Foundouk Pass, the capture of Hill 609 and the final defeat of the Axis Army in Africa. From Africa, the 34th still under the command of General Ryder, landed on the beaches of Salerno, marched through the rubble City of Benevento, crossed the treacherous Volturno three times, advanced through the snowcapped and barren mountalns, clearing the way to Cassino, shashed [slashed] the carefully laid defenses of the Wehmacht at Cassino, broke through the flats of Anzio and the hills overlooking the Eternal City, captured Rome, and advanced north to seize the prize port of Leghorn.

General Charles W. Ryder was born on January 16, 1892, in Topeka, Kansas, from where he was appointed to the U. S. Military Academy. He f1rst served with the 30th Infantry in New York, then with the 37th and later with the 16th to November of 1917. In World War I, General Ryder served with the 16th Infantry and participated in the occupation of the Toul and Montdidier Sectors, in the Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, and in the Meusse-Argonne operations in France. From 1918 to 1919, he served as Assistant Provost Marshal in Paris. In August, 1919, he returned to the United States to be assigned as Post Inspector, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. In June 1937, he became Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Eleven months before the outbreak of World War II he was made Chief of Staff of VI Corp through the Carolina Maneuvers, and in 1942 he was assigned as Assistant Division Commander of the 90th Division, one of the first three divisions to be organized under the war expansion program.

General Ryder is at present commanding the IX Corps occupying the northern part of Honshu, including Tokyo and the entire island of Hokkaido. When General Ryder arrived in Hawaii in October, 1944, with the IX Corps, he greeted many returning One Puka boys on transports disembarking on home grounds.