Rutledge, Walter K

Walter K. Rutledge was born on January 31, 1928. He had five brothers and two sisters. 

 The young airman was married, and the father of a four-year old son, Ronald. His wife lives on 2739 Garnett Street, Philadelphia. 

On October 31, 1952, the family received a letter from the commanding officer of the New Castle Air Force Base that gave strong indication that the twenty-four-year-old, reported missing in Korea several weeks prior, was no longer alive. However, no official word was received from the War Department. Mrs. Rutledge seemed to feel that there is no possibility her son could still be alive. She said, “They tell me he is, but I know it cannot be so, since no trace of the plane has been found.” Previously it was reported two bodies, identified as being from the same plane, had floated onto the beach, about ten miles from Kangnung, Korea. Rutledge was a chauffeur and truck driver and was serving his second enlistment with a rank of Airman 3/c. Bruce, a brother and Seaman 1/c serving on the U.S.S. Catling, made a surprise visit home, not knowing of the missing report his parents had received on Walter.

In November of 1952, the parents were notified by the director of military affairs that their son was now reported as dead. Airman Third Class Rutledge was a passenger on a C-46 Commando Transport aircraft when it crashed, while in route from Kangnung to Phang, Korea. Walter was one of 21 passengers reported missing when the plane disappeared. His date of death was October 16, 1952. He was a member of the 1st Shoran Beacon Squadron, U.S. Air Force, in Korea. Walter was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. His name is listed on a military monument in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Memorial Services were held on November 16, 1952 at the Westwood Union Church.


Research by Vince Lukach, WCMSC 
Walter Rutledge