Ruiz, Eugene Louis (P2, C4, L3)
First Lieutenant Eugene Louis Ruiz, 28, of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, died when his aircraft was shot down in Korea on 2 July 1951 while on federal active duty. Ruiz was the first combat casualty of the Kentucky Air National Guard. Ruiz was the pilot of an F-51D “Mustang” fighter (#44-73842) with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. While on a combat mission, his aircraft caught fire and crashed 15 miles west of Chorwon, Korea. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. Ruiz’s award and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Louisville Figliter Pilot
Downed Behind Lines
The Courier-Journal Louisville, Kentucky 17 Jul 1951, Tue · Page 8
Firs Lt. Eugene L. Ruiz husband of Mrs. Willie M. Ruiz 6414 Southside Drive was shot down behind enemy lines in Korea July 2. A fighter pilot he was as a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard that was called in to federal service three months ago.
Mrs. Ruiz, who is expecting a baby within two weeks, was notified her husband went down his burning plane. There still was hope he might have survived. A companion pilot, however reported he was unable to see any sigh of life near the wreckage.
Piloted Glider In (World) War II
Ruiz, a native of Santa Barbra. Cal., had been here since World War II. He was a glider pilot in th China-Burma- India
Theatre dunng the war. He won the Air Medal in that war and again in Korea.
Oth Kentucky casualtieies listeded yesterday by the Dfense Department included two men injured in accidents. They were
Sfc. Janmes F. Ashby, husband of Mrs. Jonelle AShby, Oak Grove, and Pvt. John D. Lewis, son of Mrs. Eugene Lewis, Sr., Wheelwright. Sfc. William E. Tuggle, brother of Wayland M. Tuggle, Alpha, previously injured , was returned to duty.
The bodies of 11 Kentuckians who lost their lives in Korea are among 451 Americans now being returned aboard the Furman Victory.