Cover photo for SSG Robert G. Rudd's Obituary
SSG Robert G. Rudd Profile Photo
1910 SSG Robert 2023

SSG Robert G. Rudd

August 27, 1910 — December 9, 2023

 

MIA, WWII Army Veteran, Staff Sergeant (SSG) Robert G. Rudd, born on August 27, 1910, was killed in action on January 30, 1945 during the Battle of The Bulge.

 

SSG Robert G. Rudd will be finally laid to rest after seventy-eight years on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at Bethel Cemetery in Gatesville. Bethel Cemetery has been closed for many years and will reopen for SSG Robert Rudd to finally be laid to rest beside his parents. Service members and the community are invited to honor SSG Robert G. Rudd and be a part of his amazing story.

 

Staff Sergeant Rudd, entered the U.S. Army in Dallas on April 12, 1942.  He served with Company C, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, during World War II.  His company attacked enemy forces near Rocherath, Belgium. In 1944, many American troops were massed along Germany’s western borders resting and refitting. On December 16, 1944, the Germany army launched its final desperate counterattack along the western front. The ensuing battle lasted from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945, costing over 19,000 American lives.  During this counterattack, the 2d Infantry Division became concentrated with the 99th Infantry Division around Elsenborn, Belgium, they dug in and held a defensive line, repulsing several increasingly desperate assaults by German troops.  They finally began to push out of their positions in January of 1945 and recapture the wooded areas east of Elsenborn, known as the Elsenbüchel Forest.  Toward the end of January 1945, SSG Rudd’s battalion received orders to attack several new towns.  It was by bright moonlight that troops began the attack, through chest high snowdrifts and mined areas the battalions secured ground around Wirtzfeld within several hours.  Moving on to the towns of Rocherath-Krinkelt (known as the “twin towns”) they found themselves in fierce fighting by late morning even though the regimental artillery had laid a huge barrage on the towns.  It was sometime during the fighting on Rocherath that Staff Sergeant Robert Rudd was killed.  Due to major restrictions in the area, SSG Rudd’s remains were not immediately recovered.

 

It was in 1946, that the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was charged with recovering and identifying remains in the European Theatre.  Thousands of remains that could not be immediately identified were brought to the nearest American Military Cemetery in the area and named with an X followed by a number.  Over the years, several requests were made to compare the remains of an Unknown to that of SSG Rudd.  There were never any matches to be found.  In 1950, a board of officers, determined that SSG Rudd’s status was that his remains “were disposed of by the enemy at an unknown location” and further approved his status as “non recoverable”.  But that is not where his story and search for him ends.

 

Seven sets of remains discovered by Belgian residents in the Elsenbüchel Forest were examined and all were identified except for X-3144.  Records show that X-3144 remains were examined but there were no comprehensive details that could aid in the identification, other than it was likely the Unknown was a member of the US ground forces killed by artillery fire.  In 1949, X-3144 was declared unidentifiable and interred at Ardennes American Cemetery.

 

It was in 2017 that researchers made suggestion to DPAA that “X-3144”, which were recovered from the Wirtzfeld area, might be associated with an unaccounted-for member of the 99th Infantry Division, be disinterred and the list expanded for possible candidates beyond the 99th Infantry Division to include soldiers like Staff Sergeant Rudd from the 2d Infantry Division.  This list included 18 individuals whose regiments had operated north of Wirtzfeld.  It was this area where the 38th Infantry Regiment had operated when SSG Rudd had disappeared.  Historians noted that given his regiment’s location, it was quite possible he perished in or very near the Elsenbüchel Forest.  On June 23, 2021, X-3144 was disinterred and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska for forensic analysis through anthropological and dental records.  It was determined that SSG Robert G. Rudd had been located and identified based on location and history of SSG Rudd’s reported loss location and date of death, circumstances of loss and historians’ comprehensive research of the Battle of the Bulge. Through the dedicated long-term research and field investigations by Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and input from private historians in U.S. and Belgium.  They specifically benefited from the tireless 30 years of analysis and work of two Belgian researchers and an American historian, who are focused on locating the missing members of the 99th Infantry Division from the Battle of Bulge.  With their work nearly a dozen formerly unaccounted for soldiers have been identified from remains located by this group.

 

SSG Robert G. Rudd was mourned by his wife, Pearl Rudd, his parents, John B. Rudd and Emma J. Rudd, his brothers, William “Lonnie” Rudd, Luther Rudd, Lucian Rudd, Ollie Rudd, and Hagger Rudd; his sister, Myrtle Rudd Painter, Ad Rudd Fisher, Eula Mae Rudd Scott, Lillie Rudd Marshall, until they passed

 

He is survived by many nieces, nephews, and many relatives that his legacy of heroism will live on through.

 

Services entrusted to the personal care of Crotty Funeral Home & Cremations Services in Belton.

To send flowers to the family in memory of SSG Robert G. Rudd, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Graveside Service

Saturday, December 9, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

From Hwy 36 turn west onto West Range Road, turn east onto Triple A Road, go past mile marker 22, then turn west onto Bethel Cemetery Rd. At the fork in the road , stay right to arrive at Bethel Cemetery.

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