Boyd Dudley, Jr., was raised in Gallatin, MO, and played a part in developing and managing the production of 8-inch Howitzers which proved important to the U.S. Army during World War II and succeeding decades.
In 1919, the Westervelt Board described the ideal heavy gun for future development having a bore of 194 mm to 8 inches, a projectile of about 200 lbs in weight, and a range of 35,000 yards. More striking was the requirement that it be road transportable. At this time no other country had such a road-transportable field gun. Low-priority design work occurred until 1924. Serious development began in June 1940 of an 8-inch (203 mm) gun that would have a range of 33,500 yards (30,600 m), be transported in two loads weighing no more than 44,000 lb (20,000 kg) at a road speed of up to 25 mph (40 km/h), and also be suitable for rail movement.
Boyd Dudley, Jr., earned a 4-year degree at the Missouri State University School of Mines at Rolla. During World War I he went into active service with the rank of captain in the Ordinance Department. After organizing inspection divisions in New York and Pennsylvania, Dudley transferred to the “Westervelt Arsenal” on the Hudson River near Albany, where he was superintendent in charge of the department making 8-inch field Howitzers. He then was promoted to the rank of major and transferred to the Sea Coast Division, placed in charge of the manufacturing of 16-inch caliber guns used in coastal defense.
He married Madge Netherton of Gallatin while teaching at Rolla. In later life Dudley, wife, and two children resided in Syracuse, NY, where he was in charge of the plant of the American Piano Company.