U.S. Rep Chet Edwards announces reopening
of Pointe du Hoc site, acknowledges Center
for Heritage Conservation research efforts


Years of research efforts by Texas A&M's Center for Heritage Conservation came to fruition Oct. 20 when U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards announced the reopening of Pointe du Hoc, in Normandy, France, one of World War II's most important battlefields and a source of pride for Aggies everywhere.

Robert Warden, director of the CHC, and David Woodcock, CHC director emeritus, joined Edwards for the announcement, which took place at the Langford Architecture Center on the Texas A&M campus. The group was joined, via a conference call, by Max Cleland, secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which administers the site and other U.S. military memorials and cemeteries abroad.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, U.S. Army Rangers under the command of Lt. Col. Earl Rudder, a future president of Texas A&M, performed one of the war's greatest feats, scaling Pointe du Hoc's 90-foot cliffs and repelling intense German counterattacks to help secure an Allied victory.

A memorial on the battlefield, built to honor the achievement of "Rudder's Rangers," had been closed to the public since 2001 because of fears it could fall into the sea; it sits on unstable cliffs, laced with caverns, that receive a daily pounding by wind and waves from the English Channel.

Based on CHC research findings, consultants recommended that micropiles, or concrete columns, be placed 130 feet into the bedrock underneath the observation post to stabilize it. A French company, the GTS Group, began the work in February 2010.

“Once again the people of the world will be able to visit this historic site and its monument dedicated to Lt. Colonel Earl Rudder and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion Rangers,” Edwards said. "People … will be able to understand America's leadership in saving the world from the tyranny of Adolf Hitler."

Edwards also acknowledged the efforts of CHC researchers.

"Let me thank Dr. Warden and everyone here at Texas A&M University who literally planted the seeds for this important mission to save Pointe du Hoc," he said, "for all future generations to see and be reminded of what was done there."

When the project began in 2004, the CHC was known as the Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory; under the leadership of David Woodcock, who directied the HRIL, researchers employed various 3-D imaging tools and techniques, such as a total station and photogrammetry, conducted resistivity tests and took core samples of the site.

Cleland said a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on June 6, 2011, to commemorate the reopening of the monument and the debut of new interpretive sites surrounding it.

“Pointe du Hoc is an iconic symbol of American courage and sacrifice,” he said. “We are grateful to Chet Edwards for his leadership in obtaining the $6 million appropriation that has enabled us to preserve this historic D-Day battlefield and open it once again to the public. We all have a responsibility to tell its stories for generations to come.”

Video of the conference call announcement may also be seen on Vimeo.

See more about the CHC's research efforts at Pointe du Hoc.

Another story about a CHC research trip to Pointe du Hoc.

Videos, photos and news of the restoration are available at www.travaux-pointeduhoc.com.

An interactive multimedia narrative of the historic battle at Pointe du Hoc, which was characterized by Allied Forces as “the single German Defense position most dangerous to their invasion plans,” is available at media.oaktreesys.com.


- Posted: Nov. 12, 2010 -

— the end —

Contact:   Phillip Rollfing, prollfing@archone.tamu.edu or 979.458.0442.


Click on images
for slideshow

Update your contact info and share your news!

The College of Architecture strives to keep up with former students and share their successes in the archone. newsletter. Please take a moment to update your contact information and tell us what you've been up to. Click Here
bottom page borders