Clark Louis Ruffner – General, United States Army

Clark 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 1982.

General Clark Louis Ruffner
Born January 12, 1903 in Buffalo, New York
Died July 26, 1982
Married Elizabeth Morris May 11, 1929
Children: Ernest & Geneviene
Graduated from Virginia Military Institute 1924

Second Lieutenant 1924
First Lieutenant 1930
Captain 1935
Major 1941
Lieutenant Colonel 1941
Colonel 1942
Brigadier General 1944
Major General 1945
Lieutenant General 1958
General 1960

Served with 11th Cavalry Regiment 1924-28
Served with Staff, Cavalry School 1928-29
Served with 2nd Cavalry Regiment 1929-
Served with 10th Cavalry Regiment -32
Served with 5th Cavalry Regiment 1932-33
Served with Civilian Construction Corps 1933
Plans & Training Officer, 5th Cavalry Regiment 1933-37
Assistant Professor (Military Sciences & Tactics), Norwich University 1937-40
Student, Command & General Staff School 1940-41
Assistant Chief, Plans & Liaison Branch, Public Relations Office 1941
Assistant Chief of Staff G-1 (Personnel) VII Corps 1942
Deputy Chief of Staff VII Corps 1942-43
Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Hawaiian Department 1943
Deputy Chief of Staff, Central Pacific Area 1943-44
Chief of Staff, US.Army-Pacific 1944-46
Member, Personnel Board, War Department 1946-47
Chief of Legislative Affairs 1947-50
Special Projects Officer to the Chief of Staff, Far East Command 1950
Chief of Staff, X Corps 1950-51
Commanding General, 2nd Infantry Division 1951
Deputy to the Assistant Defense Secretary (International Security Affairs) 1951-52
Military Assistant to the Assistant Defense Secretary (International Security Affairs) 1952-54
Deputy Commanding General, U. S. Army-Pacific 1954
Commanding General, U.S. Army-Pacific 1954
Commanding General, 2d Armored Division 1954-56
Chief, Military Assistance Group, Germany 1956-58
Commanding General, 3rd US.Army 1958-60
US. Representative to NATO Military Staff Committee 1960-62
Retired October 31, 1962

Distinguished Service Cross – Distinguished Service Medal (Three) – Silver Star (two) – Legion of Merit (two) – Bronze Star Medal – Air Medal (Three)

Clark Louis Ruffner, General United States Army, was born in 1903 and died in 1982.  General Ruffner served in World War II, taking part in the Normandy Invasion, and was a key Commander in the Korean War.

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.


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