From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Ruge '37

Date of birth: January 5, 1914

Date of death: October 24, 1944

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:


From Find A Grave:

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. Vidette-Messenger - 7/3/1944

He was the acting R-2 on the staff of the 4th Marines for a while before the fall of Corregidor.

The ship he was aboard was the Arisan Maru, which was sunk by USS Shark (SS 314) or USS Snook (SS 279) on September 7, 1944.

He has a memory marker in Indiana. Robert's parents were listed as next of kin; he was also survived by his older brother Mox, younger sister Pauline, and younger brother John.

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

First Lieutenant Robert F. Ruge (MCSN: 0-5565), United States Marine Corps, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Action Date: May 6, 1942 - Died in Captivity
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: First Lieutenant
Division: Prisoner of War (Philippine Islands)

Memorial Hall Error

Multiple other sources list him as a Major, as does his memorial marker. His Prisoner of War medal and Memorial Hall have 1st Lieutenant.

Class of 1937

Robert is one of 45 members of the Class of 1937 on Virtual Memorial Hall.