WASHINGTON – The remains of an Indiana airman who died during World War II have been identified.
U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Charles G. Ruble, 20, of Selma, Indiana, is accounted for 75 years after his death.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), Ruble was a member of the 99th Troop Carrier Squadron, 441st Troop Carrier Group. He served as an aerial engineer aboard a C-47A aircraft, nicknamed the Celia L in September 1944.
On September 17, 1944, the Celia L, which operated out of U.S. Army Air Forces Station 490, Langar, Nottinghamshire, England, participated in Operation Market Garden, the Allied invasion of the German-occupied Netherlands.
The Celia L had a five-person crew and transported 10 paratroopers to a drop-zone near Groesbeek, Netherlands.
Enemy fire struck the plane’s wing and ignited the gas tanks.
The paratroopers successfully exited the plane, as did two of the crewmembers.
The pilot crash landed the plane several hundred yards inside the German border.
Two crewmembers died in the crash, including Ruble, but he could not be accounted for.
In April 1946, members of the 606th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company recovered eight sets of remains from isolated burials near Zyfflich, Germany, close to the Netherlands border.
One set of remains, designated X-2565 Neuville, was buried about 500 yards from a downed C-47 aircraft in a grave marked with a wooden cross.
U.S. authorities interred X-2565 at what is today the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium after they had been declared unidentifiable.
In June 2018, the remains were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska for analysis.
Scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, to successfully identify the remains as belonging to Ruble.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,635 service members still unaccounted for from World War II with approximately 30,000 assessed as possibly recoverable.
Ruble’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII.
Although interred as an “unknown”, his grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Ruble will be buried March 2, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.