Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ruby Six, Reporting As Ordered, Sir
Colonel Reusser reporting in to St. Peter

Undoubtedly, this war horse used his seabag as a jock strap. Here's the article from Military.com; (Emphasis mine.)
Two-time Navy Cross Recipient Dies
June 30, 2009
Stars and Stripes

Marine Corps Capt. Kenneth Reusser and his wingman were flying a mission in the Pacific region during World War II when they came upon a Japanese surveillance plane.

The cold air had frozen the fighters’ guns, so Reusser tipped his F4U-4 Corsair toward the aircraft, allowing his wingman to rake his propeller across the plane’s tail. The move downed the enemy plane and would have been a heroic highlight of any military career. But it was just a start for Reusser.

Known as one of the most decorated Marine Corps aviators ever, he died June 20 of natural causes at age 89 in Oregon.

Reusser was awarded 59 medals during his career, including two Navy Crosses, four Purple Hearts and two Legions of Merit. He retired from the service a colonel, The Associated Press and Oregon media reported.

He was shot down five times during 259 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam — at least once in each conflict.

In 1950, Reusser led an attack on a North Korean factory. Despite heavy anti-aircraft fire, he dipped down to window level of the facility and saw that it was being used to repair enemy tanks, according to the citation for his second Navy Cross.

He flew to his aircraft carrier to re-arm with rockets and napalm and then returned to destroy the facility, again braving the anti-aircraft fire.

Reusser’s plane had been damaged and his heavy ordnance was gone, but before returning from the mission, he flew low and pumped his machine guns into a North Korean oil tanker, the citation said.

The tanker exploded, knocking his plane momentarily out of control, but he managed to right it and return to the carrier.

In Vietnam, Reusser flew helicopters and was leading a rescue mission when his Huey was shot down. He was badly wounded and needed skin grafts over 35 percent of his burned body, the AP reported.

Reusser lived in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie. He was born Jan. 27, 1920, the son of a minister, and raced motorcycles to help pay for college and earn a pilot’s license before WWII.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft and the Piasecki Helicopter Corp. and was active in veterans groups.
For those of you who may not know, the Navy Cross is junior only to the Congressional Medal of Honor. This gunslinger won two of 'em.

And yes, Ruby Six was his call sign.

5 Comments:

Blogger Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

Your description of his jock strap does not exaggerate. If there is anything our culture needs, it is more reverence for courage such as this.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Our country needs ALOT more men like him running things.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Simplex Vir said...

Couragous! He probably wondered what all the fuss was about!

5:25 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

Wow!Col. David Hackworth, USA(Ret) used to refer to his well trained, combat experienced soldiers as "studs." Well I'd say Col. Reusser is/was the studliest of studs! I'll bet they were two big brass ones, such as the ones on a binnacle.

Requiescat in pace.

10:05 PM  
Blogger chestertonian said...

The Marines guarding the streets in Heaven just got a new CO!

Requiescat in pace.

11:01 AM  

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