Graphic Novel Celebrates New AUSA Logo

Graphic Novel Celebrates New AUSA Logo

Comic book cover
Photo by: AUSA

In celebration of its new logo, the Association of the U.S. Army is releasing a graphic novel honoring the Army Rangers who scaled the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France, on D-Day.

AUSA’s new logo, unveiled Oct. 9 on the first day of AUSA’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Exposition, is inspired by the Rangers’ actions that day in June 1944. The standalone graphic novel is separate from AUSA’s Medal of Honor series.

Pointe du Hoc: Army History, Army Values is available in print at the Annual Meeting and online here.

“We are excited to help celebrate the new AUSA logo by publishing this look into a remarkable piece of Army history,” said Joseph Craig, AUSA’s Book Program director. “I hope it encourages readers to learn even more about Pointe du Hoc and the drive to liberate Europe. My thanks go out to the artists who brought this story to life for a new generation.”

On June 6, 1944, as U.S. and Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, the Rangers scaled the steep cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. Located 4 miles west of Omaha Beach, the Germans had built a fortified position for a coastal battery of six 155-mm howitzers. It was one of the most dangerous elements in the German coastal defenses in the area, according to the Army.

Commanded by Lt. Col. James Rudder, the Rangers were given the mission of capturing Pointe du Hoc and neutralizing the German coastal battery. Gen. Omar Bradley called it the most difficult task he ever gave anyone under his command.

The Rangers approached Pointe du Hoc by boat and began the dangerous ascent, braving heavy enemy machine-gun fire and grenade attacks. Rudder and almost 200 Rangers reached the top within 30 minutes of landing. The soldiers moved out to destroy the enemy guns, but they soon discovered that while the gun emplacements had been destroyed, the guns themselves were missing.

Rudder and his Rangers moved on to their next objective—seizing the coastal road to prevent German reinforcements from reaching Omaha Beach. They quickly found themselves under enemy fire again.

As the Rangers fought back, they discovered five of the missing 155 mm guns hidden in the woods, aimed to fire toward Utah Beach. The Rangers destroyed the guns and fought enemy counterattacks for hours until reinforcements arrived from Omaha Beach.

The Rangers accomplished their mission, but at a heavy cost. Of the 225 men who landed at the cliffs, only 90 could still fight. Those men joined other units and kept fighting deeper into enemy-held country, seeing action in the Cherbourg Peninsula, the Hurtgen Forest and in the Battle of the Bulge.

Drawing from the Rangers’ incredible actions almost 80 years ago, AUSA’s logo seeks to recognize the tremendous contributions of those who came before while keeping their stories alive for the next generation.

“You want to talk about tough missions. I’ve been to that cliff. I know some of you have. It would be hard to climb that cliff with nobody shooting at you,” said retired Gen. Bob Brown, AUSA president and CEO. “We were inspired by this amazing moment in history.”

Each AUSA graphic novel is created by a team of professional comic book veterans. The script for Pointe du Hoc: Army History, Army Values was written by Chuck Dixon, whose previous work includes Batman, The Punisher and The ’Nam.

Artwork and the cover were by Wayne Vansant, who has worked on The ’Nam, Savage Tales and All Quiet on the Western Front. The lettering was by Troy Peteri, who has worked on Spider-Man, Iron Man and X-Men.

For more information on the Medal of Honor graphic novel series or AUSA’s Book Program, click here.

The AUSA Annual Meeting is Oct. 9–11 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. For more information on the meeting, click here.

— Michelle Tan