Oscar Ruebens, wearing round eyeglasses in these photos.
I received a message from Carrie Stevens last year on November 19. She wrote, “I am reaching out to you because I am the great granddaughter of Oscar C. Ruebens.”
Sergeant Oscar Ruebens (SN 12016749) served in the Infantry of the U.S. Army.
His Italian POW card, archived at the U.S. National Archives, indicates he was captured in Tunisia on December 23, 1942.
Given the date he was captured and the fact he was in the Infantry, it seems likely he was taken captive during the first battle of Longstop Hill, December 23–24, 1942.
The POW card indicates Oscar was transferred from Tunisia to PG 98 on Sicily on December 28, 1942, and to PG 59 Servigliano on January 23, 1943.
“I found your website a few years ago and was so excited to finally have something to show my great grandpa when I went to visit him in New York,” Carrie wrote.
“Unfortunately, he passed away today. We never got the full story of what all happened to him during the war; just bits and pieces.
“He was a great man with so much to tell. He was very stubborn, too. He once told my grandmother (his daughter) that the rest of his story would go to the grave with him.”
Carrie and I have exchanged several emails since November, and she sent me photos of her Grandpa Oscar to share. We don’t have much context for the snapshots, but they give a glimpse into his service experience and friendships during the war.
Here is Oscar’s obituary from the website of the R. A. Patrick Funeral Home in Clifton Springs, New York:
Oscar C. Ruebens
Oscar C. Ruebens, age 98, passed away on Monday November 19, 2018 at the Canandaigua VA Hospital.
In keeping with his wishes there will be no prior calling hours or services.
Burial will be at the convenience of the family in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Oscar was born March 29, 1920 in Farmington, NY the son of the late Alphonse and Louise Ruebens. Oscar was a finish carpenter by trade. He served in the US Army and was a POW. He was a life member of the Palmyra VFW Post 6778, American Ex-Prisoners of War and the Disabled American Veterans.
Oscar is survived by his children, Charlotte Haight and Laura (Mark) Turner; 13 grandchildren; 23 great grandchildren; many great great grandchildren; sister, Bertha Main.
Oscar is predeceased by his wife, Virginia E. Howell; son, David L. Ruebens; daughter, Joyce A. Gieske; grandson, Donald Parson; 3 brothers and 3 sisters.
Oscar Ruebens and buddies
Arlington National Cemetery, Oscar Rueben’s final resting place. Courtesy—Wikimedia Commons.
I am Tech Sergeant Oscar Ruebens youngest daughter, Carrie’s grandmother. I am so proud of her to do this for the family and to honor her Great-grandfather. He was a great father and family was very important to him. We were brought up military strict. He had a Buddy named Carlos who was actually his Corporal for a time. They kept in touch until Carlos passed away. Dad lived with my husband and I for almost 19 years, after his wife Virginia passed away. He told us about Long Stop Hill where he was captured and two nights before he passed away he sang “Silent Night.” I believe he was thinking of his pow camp.