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BG William T. Ryder

BG William T. Ryder

Birth
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 1 Oct 1992 (aged 79)
Pinehurst, Moore County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 30 Lot 872-A Map grid Y 40.5
Memorial ID 12502 · View Source
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United States Army Brigadier General. He was a career US Army officer credited for helping pioneer training, equipment and tactics for the US Army’s first Airborne unit. He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, in 1936 and volunteered to make up the first platoon of paratroopers stationed at Fort Benning Georgia, in 1940. There he was a 1st Lieutenant in command of a hand chosen group of experienced infantrymen and he worked them all summer. On August 16, 1940, after completing a rigorous conditioning and training program which 1st Lieutenant Ryder had devised, he took ten members of his platoon and boarded a Douglas DC-10 transport plane and took off from the Fort Benning airstrip. 1st Lieutenant Ryder at 1,500 feet, was the first man to exit the aircraft and became the US Army's first official Paratrooper. In 1942, he was assigned as parachute training officer for the Airborne Command before being dispatched to the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment in North Africa and then to combat with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Sicily, Italy. Promoted Colonel in February 1944, he reported as aid to General Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific Theatre and commanded airborne operations. For the remainder of World War II, he was a member of MacArthur’s staff until President Truman relieved MacArthur in 1951. In late 1950s, he was the deputy chief of the public information division in Paris, France and director of special weapons in the office of the chief of research and development, for guided missile systems, in the 1960s. He retired a Brigadier General in 1966.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 13 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12502
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for BG William T. Ryder (16 Apr 1913–1 Oct 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12502, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .