STEPHEN A RUSCH - CAPT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- July 28, 1943
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- March 07, 1972
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- Air Force
Stephen Arthur Rusch was born on July 28, 1943, to Hugh and Cynthia Rusch. His home of record was Lambertville, NJ. Stephen grew up in West Amwell, NJ. Stephen had one sister, Cynthia. His father was an inventor and vice president of Opinion Research Corp. in Princeton, NJ. Stephen graduated from the Hun School of Princeton Township. In high school, Stephen was a lifeguard at Pretty Brook Tennis Club.
Stephen was characterized as an accomplished musician. He played guitar and banjo and sang and composed folk songs. On weekends, he played gigs at coffee houses in New Jersey and Greenwich Village, NY. He was attending Drew University when he met his future wife, Judy. They were both studying math.
He served in the US Air Force as a Captain (CAPT) in the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Rusch was a weapons systems operator.
On March 7, 1972, Rusch was the weapons system officer in an F-4E Phanton II aircraft attacking enemy targets in Salavan Province, Laos. The plane was number two aircraft in the flight of two. When Rusch's aircraft was cleared to begin its second run over enemy targets, the flight leader of the number one aircraft lost sight of Rusch's plane and observed enemy ground fire followed by a large explosion. An immediate search was begun, but all attempts to establish radio contact and later search efforts were unsuccessful. He was listed as missing in action.
Rusch was survived by two daughters, Sharon and Rebecca, and his ex-wife, Judy.
During the summer of 2007, human remains were found in the wreckage of an airplane in the Salavan Province. These were positively identified as Rusch's. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
On March 7, 1972, Captain Rusch was on an operational mission over Laos, serving as co-pilot, when his F-4E Phantom aircraft was observed to impact the ground while making a run on a target. No parachutes were seen and no beepers were heard. The loss occurred about 25 miles east of Ban Toumlan in Saravane Province, Laos. Captain Rusch was declared missing in action and listed as unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.
Sources: Newspaper clippings, POW Network and NJVVMF.
Be the first to add a remembrance for STEPHEN A RUSCH