Clark Louis Ruffner
General, United States Army
Louis Ruffner was born January 12, 1903, in Buffalo, New York, and graduated
from the Virginia Military Institute in 1924. Most of his early career
was spent in various cavalry units until his appointment as Assistant Professor
of Military Science and Tactics at Norwich University (Vermont) from 1937-1940.
During World War II, Ruffner first served as Assistant Chief of Staff and then Deputy Chief of Staff for VII Corps from 1942-43. He then went on to become Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for the Hawaiian Department in 1943. From there, Ruffner became Deputy Chief of Staff, Central Pacific Area, from 1943-44, and Chief of Staff for the US Army, Pacific from 1944 until after the end of the war.
At the outbreak of the Korean War, Ruffner was Chief of Staff, X Corps, but soon took command of the 2nd Infantry Division in 1951 from where he was a key commander in the conflict. Ruffner's unit occupied the center of the UN line during the Battle of the Soyang River during the Chinese spring offensive. After his command, Ruffner spent the remainder of the war in Washington working on International Security Affairs in the office of the Defense Secretary.
In 1954, Ruffner moved back into the Pacific theater where he successively served as Deputy Commanding General and Commanding General for the US Army, Pacific. From there he became Commanding General, 2nd Armored Division, from 1954-56, and after a tour in Germany, Commanding General of the Third US Army from 1958-60. During this period, he received promotions to lieutenant general and general. General Ruffner concluded his career as US Representative to NATO, and retired in 1962.
His awards include the Legion of Merit, the
Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean
Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. He died on 26 July
General Clark Louis Ruffner
Second Lieutenant 1924
Served with 11th Cavalry Regiment 1924-28
Distinguished Service Cross - Distinguished
Service Medal (Three) - Silver Star (two) - Legion of Merit (two) - Bronze
Star Medal - Air Medal (Three)
Commanding General, Third Army, May 1958 to February 1960
1960: General Clark L. Ruffner, U.S. Military Representative to NATO.
General Ruffner and his wife, Elizabeth Morris
Ruffner (1907-1988) are buried in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003