Aggies Name Training Ship for D-Day Hero
On the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the name of a Texan who led a battalion of army rangers up the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, France, and saved the day at Omaha Beach is now painted on the bow of Texas A&M University at Galveston's new training ship.
Naming the 224-foot General Rudder after Major General James E. "Bud" Rudder also marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of A&M's Galveston campus, the only maritime academy on the Gulf Coast.
Rudder is revered at Texas A&M. A 1932 A&M graduate, Rudder was school president from 1959 until his death in 1970. Under his leadership, A&M became a full fledged university in 1963, and started admitting women the same year. In 1962, he engineered establishment of Texas A&M at Galveston when it looked like plans for the maritime academy would fail for lack of money.
The new Training Ship General Rudder was formerly named the Kings Pointer, and it comes to Galveston after serving as a training ship for the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York for 19 years.
The General Rudder is replacing the legendary WWII era Training Ship Texas Clipper, which was retired six years ago, and sunk in the Gulf of Mexico in the "Ships to Reefs" program created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The Texas Clipper is also a popular diving platform for scuba divers.