Ruffner, Clarke Louis

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Ruffner, Clarke Louis, born 12-01-1903 in Buffalo, New York, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1924.   Most of his early career was spent in various cavalry units until his appointment as Assistant Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Norwich University from 1937-1940. During World War II, Ruffner first served as Assistant Chief of Staff and then Deputy Chief of Staff for VII Corps from 1942-43. He then went on to become Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for the Hawaiian Department in 1943. From there, Ruffner became Deputy Chief of Staff, Central Pacific Area, from 1943-44, and Chief of Staff for the US Army, Pacific from 1944 until after the end of the war. At the outbreak of the Korean War, Ruffner was Chief of Staff, X Corps, but soon took command of the 2nd Infantry Division, nicknamed  “Indianhead ” File:2 Infantry Div SSI.svg in 1951 from where he was a key commander in the conflict. He succeeded General Robert Alexis McClure    McClure died age 77, on 15-09-1973. The 2nd Infantry division had the next losses during their European campaign, killed in action: 3.031, wounded in action: 12.785 and died of wounds: 457. Ruffner’s unit occupied the center of the UN line during the Battle of the Soyang River during the Chinese spring offensive. After his command, Ruffner spent the remainder of the war in Washington working on International Security Affairs in the office of the Defense Secretary. In 1954, Ruffner moved back into the Pacific theater where he successively served as Deputy Commanding General and Commanding General for the US Army, Pacific. From there he became Commanding General, 2nd Armored Division, nicknamed “Hells on Wheels” File:2nd US Armored Division SSI.svg, from 1954-56. In 238 battle days the 2nd Armored suffered 7.348 casualties, including 1.160 killed in action. The division was recognized for distinguished service and bravery with 9.369 individual awards, including two Medals of Honor, twenty-three Distinguished Service Crosses, and 2.302 Silver Stars as well as nearly 6.000 Purple Hearts; among those receiving the silver star were Douglas MacArthur. The division was twice cited by the Belgian Government and division soldiers for the next 50 years proudly wore the foragers of the Belgian Croix de Guerre. After a tour in Germany, Commanding General of the Third US Army  from 1958-60. During this period, he received promotions to Lieutenant General and General. General Ruffner concluded his career as US Representative to NATO and retired in 1962. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.

Death and burial ground of Ruffner, Clarke Louis.

 He died on 26-07-1982, age 79 and is buried with his wife Elisabeth, born Morris, who died age 81, in 1988, on the Arlington National Cemetery, Section 30. Close by the graves of Major General, Commander 116th and 29th Division, D-Day `The Blue and Gray` , Charles Canham, Fleet Deputy Chief Operation, Richard Edwards, Rear Admiral, Frank Akers , Admiral Robert Ghormley, Lieutenant General, Commanded the 5th Marine Division  in the occupation of Japan, Thomas Bourke and Lieutenant General, Commander 2nd Armoured Division, Ted Brooks.

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