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Parker City World War II veteran coming home after remains identified in Netherlands

The Star Press (Muncie) logo The Star Press (Muncie) 12/10/2019 Corey Ohlenkamp, Muncie Star Press
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PARKER CITY, Ind. — A Parker City native who died in World War II will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery after being identified nearly 75 years after the operation he was killed in.

Charles G. Ruble, 20, of Parker City, Ind., will be coming back to the United States as a result of research and work from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Ruble was accounted for May 31, 2019.

"Uncle Charlie," as he is affectionately called by family, was a graduate of Selma High School. The DPAA released a notification at the end of November that Ruble was formally identified and would be returned to the U.S.

a black and white photo of a group of people posing for the camera: From left to right; Charles G. Ruble, Mary Jeanne Ruble Goins and James Goins pose for a photo while on leave. © Photo provided by Jan Carusiello From left to right; Charles G. Ruble, Mary Jeanne Ruble Goins and James Goins pose for a photo while on leave.

Ruble was a member of the 99th Troop Carrier Squadron, 441st Troop Carrier Group in September 1944. He served as an aerial engineer aboard a C-47A aircraft, nicknamed the Celia L, according to a release from the DPAA.

Ruble along with his crew on the Celia L look off from Nottinghamshire, England, on Sept. 17, 1944, to participate in Operation Market Garden, the Allied invasion of the German-occupied Netherlands.

The aircraft was carrying a crew of five and transporting 10 paratroopers from the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment to a drop-zone near Groesbeek, Netherlands.

Anti-aircraft fire struck the plane's wing and ignited its gas tanks.

The paratroopers successfully exited the plane, as did two of the crew members. Three of the crew survived, but two, including Ruble, could not be accounted for and were believed to have been killed in the crash.

More than a year later in April 1946, members of the 606th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company recovered eight sets of remains from isolated burials near Zyfflich, Germany, close to the Netherlands border. One set of remains, designated X-2565 Neuville, was buried about 500 yards from a downed C-47 aircraft in a grave marked with an un-inscribed wooden cross.

That unidentified body was none other than Ruble, though officials didn’t know it at the time. U.S. authorities interred X-2565 at what is today the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium after the remains had been declared unidentifiable.

Historians from DPAA determined that Ruble was a strong candidate for association with X-2565, so in June 2018, the remains were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis.

To make a positive identification of Ruble's remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used a DNA analysis.

a man wearing a uniform posing for a photo: Charles G. Ruble, 20, of Parker City © Photo provided Charles G. Ruble, 20, of Parker City

In order to do that, the office worked with family to get samples from living relatives, including his younger brother and his niece Jan Carusiello. 

"We always had hopes that his remains would be found, and we would bring him home,

 Carusiello told The Star Press. "You don’t want to get your hopes up, though".

Both Carusiello and her husband attended a ceremony for the 75th anniversary of Market Garden in the Netherlands, and were able to visit the earlier resting place of her uncle.

Ruble will be buried March 2, 2020, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. Family from Indiana and elsewhere will attend the ceremony.

For Carusiello, burying her uncle at Arlington was the way to honor him after hearing many stories about him growing up with her mother on their farm around Parker City.

"I felt so fortunate and relieved that they were still searching for the remains of soldiers overseas," Carusiello said. "It means a lot to us that we will be able to honor him this way and bring him home."

Ruble's story is just one of hundreds of thousands who died in the war.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000

died. Currently there are 72,635 service members still unaccounted for from World War II, with approximately 30,000 listed as possibly recoverable.

Ruble's name was recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Margraten, Netherlands, along with the others missing from WWII. Although interred as an "unknown," his grave was cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

A rosette will be placed next to his name on the Walls of the Missing to indicate he has been accounted for.

Corey Ohlenkamp is the city/county government reporter. Contact him via email at cohlenkamp@muncie.gannett.com or by phone at 765-213-5874. Follow him on Twitter at @Ohlenkamp.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Parker City World War II veteran coming home after remains identified in Netherlands

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