RUDDY, CHARLES W., Sergeant, # 12120545, USAAF
Charles W. Ruddy was born 1920 in New York to Frances J. Ruddy (1896-1965) and Margaret (Reilly) Ruddy (1900- ). Siblings included Frances “Frank” J. Ruddy (1917-1996), Edward Leo Ruddy (1918- ), Margaret Theresa Ruddy (1921- ), Joseph Gerard Ruddy (1924-1982), and Theresa Ruddy (1927- ), Cornelis James Ruddy ( , Mary Audrey Ruddy ( , Edna Marie Ruddy ( , Dorothy Rita Ruddy ( . In 1942 the family lived at 142 Eleventh St., Brooklyn, New York. His father worked for Metropolitan Device Corporation. Familial data is unverified.
He enlisted in the USAAF at the Nashville USAAF facility on 26 February 1943. He trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was the senior gunner aboard the day he died. On 7 December 1944, B-29, # 42-6299, “Humpin’ Honey,” of 20th Air Force, Pardoba India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadro, departed the airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a bombing mission to Mukden, Manchuria. Over the target, at 0122 Zulu, an enemy aircraft crashed head-long into the B-29, killing all but two of the crew on board (MACR 10125). SSgt Beckwith reported that the first unusual condition that was noticed in the B-29 was the disappearance of about 20 feet of the left wing. The B-29 seemed to fly straight and level for a while then started to spin to the left. SSgt Huss, Sgt Ruddy and Beckwith prepared to leave the gunners compartment to bail out. During this, Beckwith called on the interphone to the pilot to inform him of the damage to the left wing. There was no acknowledgment or answer. After the spin began, the alarm bell started to ring. Before he was able to completely fasten his parachute, he passed out from lack of oxygen. Before, he passed out, Sgt Ruddy entered the radar compartment. When Beckwith regained consciousness, he was out of the B-29 in a free fall at about 4,000 feet altitude. Only his arms were through the parachute straps, not his legs. He did not believe he had time to fasten the chest and leg straps so he pulled the rip cord and stayed with the parachute. After the parachute opened, he noticed that parts of the B-29 falling around him. He believes he saw the tail section hit the ground. They landed near a Japanese guard house, so did not have any chance to practice escape and evasion.