Robert Franklin Ruge, World War II CasualtyPorter County Data on World War II Casualties . . . .

Robert Franklin Ruge
Major, US Marine Corps
Date of Birth: January 5, 1914
Date of Death: October 24, 1944
Cause of Death: Missing in Action (perished when a Japanese prisoner of war ship, the converted cargo ship Arisan Maru, was sunk by an American submarine when transferring American POWs from the Philippines to Japan)
Monument: Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Awards: Purple Heart
Hometown: Valparaiso

Newspaper Notices:

Ten Porter County Men Dead Or Missing Since U. S. Went Into War Against Japan

"Remember Pearl Harbor" Today Valparaiso and Porter county citizens remembers that event which transpired just a year ago today when a Japanese air squadron, more than 100 strong, roared out of a peaceful sky to deal destruction and death to American warships, air dromes and U. S. fighting men at Pearl Harbor.

With quietness and an air of solemnity, citizens recalled dastardly Japanese sneak attack and resolved to "Remember Pearl Harbor" as their battlecry to retaliate in full measure to the Japanese for their treachery in causing the unwarranted deaths of several thousand brave members of the U. S. fighting forces.

Not until yesterday was the full extent of the carnage at Pearl Harbor revealed to the public on the theory that such information would have proved valuable to the enemy.

Local Youth Wounded

Porter county had only one casualty at Pearl Harbor. He was Harold Lenburg, of Valparaiso, who was critically wounded in the onslaught. Lenburg spent considerable time in hospitals recovering from his wounds before he was able to return home. He is recipient of the Purple Heart award.

Since that eventful day a year ago in the Pacific, ten Porter county men have been included in the government's casualty lists as killed in action or missing.

First to answer the summons was Charles McKindred Proffitt, gunner on the U. S. destroyer Jacob Jones, which was torpedoes in the Atlantic in September.

DeForest Dye, a member of the Navy, was next reported missing in the Pacific in March. Then in May, Capt. Robert F. Ruge, of the Marine Corps, was reported missing. Ruge had been on Bataan and Corregidor just before U. S. forces on those points capitulated to the Japanese. Later he was promoted to the rank of major.

Hebron Youth Missing

Another Porter county man stationed at Corregidor, Joseph Twa, of Hebron, was also reported missing. In both the Ruge and Twa announcements it was not known whether they were killed or captured. No further word has been received.

Next to be added to the honor roll of Porter county was the name of Glen Owens, of Valparaiso. He was reported killed in action in the Pacific in June. His body was buried at sea.

Soon after the announcement of young Owens' death, came word that John Hales Bates of Hebron was missing from a carrier in the Pacific. He was a member of the U. S. air service.

Another man to pay the supreme sacrifice was Howard L. Pumroy, of Kouts. Pumroy was reported killed in the Solomons while fighting with the marines.

John Jacob Birky, student pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force residing on Valparaiso RFD 3, was killed at Centralia, Ontario, in October when a plane which he was flying during night practice crashed. The body was brought to this city for memorial services.

Capt. William H. Chambers of the U. S. air force was reported missing in action since Oct. 19. He was believed to have been in Alaska region.

The latest casualty reported was Pvt. First Class Edward Smith of Valparaiso. He was reported killed in action in the South Pacific on Nov. 18.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; December 7, 1942; Volume 16, Page 1 Column 6

Capt. R. Ruge Dead, Marine Chief Wires
Officer Lost Life When Jap Prisoner Ship Was Sunk Last October.

Captain Robert F. Ruge, U. S. Marine Corps, of Valparaiso, today was enshrined on Porter county's Honor Roll of American heroes who have given their lives for their country.

A telegram has been received by his brother, Atty. Mox Ruge, of Chesterton, from General A. A. Vandegrift, commandant, U. S. M. C., announcing that Robert lost his life on October 24, 1944 when a Japanese ship, on which 1,800 American prisoners were being transported from the Philippines to Japan, was sunk.

A son of the late Dr. Marx Ruge, Valparaiso dentist, who died on Aug. 9, 1944, and Nellie Grise Ruge. Captain Ruge was born in Valparaiso on January 5, 1914. He attended the public schools and was graduated from Valparaiso high school in 1932, where he was active in basketball, football and baseball.

From 1933 to 1937 he attended the United State Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., from which institution he was graduated and received a 2nd lieutenant's commission in the U. S. Marine Corps. At Annapolis he was captain of the basketball team in his senior year, and then served as assistant basketball coach at the Academy.

After his graduation he was stationed at Philadelphia for a short time, and then returned to the Naval Academy, remaining there from 1937 to 1940. In 1940 he was assigned for duty with the 4th Marines at Shanghai, where he served until the outbreak of war with Japan on Dec, 7, 1941.

When the American forces left Shanghai for the Philippines, he participated in battles against the Japs on Bataan and Corregidor. When Corregidor capitulated to the Japanese forces on May 6, 1942, he was taken prisoner.

He was held captive by the Japs at Bilibid prison in Manila from May of 1942 until Oct. 11, 1944, when he was shipped out of Manila on a Japanese prison ship which was sunk by an American submarine about 200 miles off the China coast in South China sea.

During his internment by the Japs his parents received a number of cards from him indicating he was well. However, most information concerning him was received from some of his fellow prisoners who were not shipped to Japan but were liberated by American forces when they retook the Philippines.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; July 3, 1945; Volume 15, Page 1, Column 5

Officer Died On Jap Ship

Mrs. Berna Goldstine, of Chesterton, Tuesday received a telegram from the war department stating that her husband, Capt. Mark T. Goldstine, Jr., a Japanese prisoner of war, had lost his life when a Jap prison ship enroute from the Philippines to Japan was sunk in the China sea on Dec. 15, 1944.

Capt. Goldstine, a member of the 24th Field Artillery in the Philippines, was captures by Japanese on Corregidor when that American stronghold fell to superior Japanese forces on May 6, 1942.

He is the second Porter county casualty in the Jap war to lose his life in the sinking of a Jap prison ship. Capt. Robert F. Ruge of Valparaiso, U. S. Marine Corps, was recently reported lost when a ship carrying U. S. prisoners from the Philippines to Japan was sunk on Oct. 24, 1944.

Capt. Goldstine had been stationed on the Philippines since April, 1941. Previous to entering military service he held an executive position with the American Red Cross.

Surviving are his widow, the former Berna Marquart of Chesterton; two sons, Mark T. Goldstine III, and Jerry, and his father, Dr. Mark Goldstine, Sr., of Chicago. Mrs. Goldstine is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Marquart of Chesterton.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; July 25, 1945; Volume 19, Page 1, Column 1

Return to List of Porter County World War II Casualties

Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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