RUCKELSHAUS, THOMAS F., Captain, # 0-914672, USAAF


Thomas F. Ruckelshaus was born in 1905 in Indiana to John Christian Ruckelshaus (1873-1946) and Anna Cecelia (Kiley) Ruckelshaus (1875-1932). Siblings included John K. Ruckelshaus (1900-1962), Conrad Robert Ruckelshaus (1903-1996) Elizabeth H. Ruckelshaus (1909-1996). Living with them in 1930 was his paternal grandmother, Caroline Meridian (Karle) Ruckelshaus (1854-1941) (IN) (widowed – Conrad Ruckelshaus (1850-1937) (Germany).


On 23 May 1944 a C-46, # 42-107282, assigned to 10th Air Force, Station 11, Chabua, India, departed its airfield on a cargo mission to Misamari, India. The C-46 was lost. On 21 November 1944 the 301st Service Group reported: On 2 November 1944 a search party arrived at a political officer’s camp site at Rilengka, the Dafflaghur Hills. On 3 November the 1st aircraft was located. It was identified as the above. ID was made by a vertical stabilizer found in a tree. It was about 5 miles from the Rilengka camp site and at 93° 24’ longitude & 27° 6’ latitude. The party surmised that the C46 was flying west when its right wing hit tall timer. It made a slight left bank and crashed into the mountain. Both wings were torn off and the C46 was scattered for about 200 yards. It burned. Remains (bones) of four bodies were found. A complete set was found near the center of the fuselage with a fatigue cap. Three others were found near the C-46 front. A billfold was found with ID AGO Form for Capt. Prosper V. Terry. A burned .45 cal. M1911 belonging to SSgt. Harold Ruslander was found. The report was copied to the 1327th AAF Base Unit & the 1330th AAF Base Unit. After recovery from the American military cemetery at Barrackpore, India, his remains were buried with those of 1stLt Sternbaum in the New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany, Floyd Co., Indiana, on 27 October 1949 (Sec. B, Grave 409-A).


His brother, Conrad R. Ruckelshaus, born 29 January 1903, served in the U.S. Navy, Lieutenant, from 20 October 1942 to 25 October 1945. He died 1 April 1996 and is interred in the Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana.