Sunday, November 24, 2013

Special Forces Sergeant and JFK and more.

I could not resist posting this piece of history.

  • This is Francis J. ("Frank") Ruddy. He was the Special Forces sergeant who served in President Kennedy's funeral detail, and placed the Green Beret on the Commander-in-Chief's grave. He was born in Scranton, PA and made combat jumps in Europe (17th Airborne Division) and Korea (187th Regimental Combat Team). He was a Team Sergeant and Group Operations/Intelligence Sergeant in 1st Special Forces Group in 1956-1959, and later rose to CSM of the 101st Airborne Division. He was incredibly strong, and cool under pressure. In 1977, LTC (Ret) Scott Madding described to me how a Thai parachutist had become a towed jumper back in 1956, and Sergeant Ruddy (the jumpmaster) pulled him back into the aircraft by hand because the plane had no static line retriever.. It sounds unbelievable, but Colonel Madding saw him do it, and was still impressed twenty years later. Ruddy's niece married Captain Danny Harrington, who commanded the Headquarters Company of 1st Group in the 1980's. A double salute to President John F. Kennedy, and to Command Sergeant Major Frank Ruddy.

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