Charles Ryan

Lupton Chapel

World War II interrupted Crarles Ryan's Olympic dreams

April 05, 2019 - 1:15 pm

One of the last Army Rangers involved in the D-Day Invasion at Normandy has died.

Relatives say Charles Ryan died March 30 in his St. Louis home. He was 96. The cause wasn’t disclosed.

Ryan was a standout youth athlete who qualified for the 1940 Winter Olympics in speed skating. Those Olympics were canceled due to World War II.

On June 6, 1944 at Normandy, he was among 225 Rangers who helped neutralize enemy artillery that was attacking landing allied troops. Fifty of 65 men in his company were killed. Ryan was wounded but recovered and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, Ryan founded several aerospace engineering companies.

Ryan is survived by his wife of 68 years, Joan, six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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