Rue, Archibald “Arch” B. (P2, C4, L2)
Second Lieutenant Archibald B. “Arch” Rue, 29, of Mercer County, died of Acute Enteritis on 31 April 1945 while being held a prisoner of war in Japan serving on federal active duty during World War II.
Rue joined the Harrodsburg National Guard unit in July 1938. His bother Edwin “Skip” also joined the unit. Rue had three years of college and was still a student when he enlisted. He also listed his civilian occupation as farmer and later as a clerk. One website stated he was working in a drug store at the time the unit ordered to federal active duty. By October 1940 when he reenlisted he was a Sergeant. Rue was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on 12 February 1941 while the unit was training at Fort Knox on federal active duty.
According to his listing on the findagrave website, his middle name was Beatricia. If that is so, then he would have been named after his grandfather Archibald Beatricia Rue a civil war veteran. His military documents discovered to date show the initial B. but one document spells out his middle name as Ball.
His parents were Insco Williams Rue, Sr, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, and Charlotte Ewing DeVeau Forbes Rue. He had seven sisters and five brothers. One brother, Major Edwin Wilson “Skip” Rue was also a member of the Harrodsburg tankers. Skip survived captivity and the war passing away in central Kentucky in 2004.
Moving under secret orders, Company D arrived in the Philippines by Thanksgiving Day, 1941. War came to them when the Japanese attacked Clark Field just a few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Harrodsburg Tankers along with the allied forces fought the Japanese valiantly without reinforcements or resupply until they were ordered to surrender in April 1942. They had delayed the Japanese Army's timetable from 50 days to four months, giving the allies vital time to protect Australia and recover from the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Rue was taken prisoner on 9 April 1941. He survived the Death March and was held at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan. He was sent to Bilibid Prison.
While in Bilibid, on Friday, November 20, 1942, he was admitted into the camp’s hospital diphtheria, pellagra, and Xerophthalmia which is a dryness of the cornea of the eye which is a result of the lack of vitamin A. He remained in the hospital until Sunday, January 31, 1943. When Red Cross packages were issued at Christmas it helped to lower the death rate. Medical records show that he was readmitted to the hospital on April 3, 1943, but no medical reason or discharge date is given.
Eventually Rue was put on board the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan. The ship was attacked by U. S. Navy planes seventeen times before sunset and six bombs hit the ship. The next day the U. S. Navy resumed the attack. The POWs were finally swam ashore near Olongapa, Subic Bay, Luzon as the Navy planes realized it was a prisoner transport and stopped the attack. The surviving prisoners were moved by train to Manila and put aboard the Enoura Maru bound for Formosa. The ship was bombed and sunk by American planes on 13 January 1945, while it was still docked. Two days later, Rue boarded the Brazil Maru enroute to Moji, Japan. He was sent to Fukuoka Camp #22 but soon became ill. Rue was sent to Kokura Hospital, also known as Moji Hospital. He died of Acute Enteritis on 31 April 1945.
His body was cremated and the ashes given to the camp commandant. At the family’s request, his remains were returned and buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 12, Grave 5220 on November 5, 1948.
SEE Also: Bataan Commemorative Research Project Website Rue, 2nd Lt. Archibald B. Bio
2nd Lt. Archibald Beaatricia Rue was born on January 2, 1916, to Insco and Lotta Forbes-Rue. He was the sixth child born to the couple. With his seven sisters and five brothers, he grew up in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and attended local schools. Arch joined the Kentucky National Guard with his brother, Edwin.
While he was working in a drug store, he was called to federal service on November 25, 1941, with his tank company. The company boarded 10 trucks in Harrodsburg on November 28th and its tanks were loaded onto a flatcar and taken by train to Ft. Knox. The company left Harrodsburg at 12:30 P.M. arriving four hours later at 4:30 P.M. When he arrived at the base, he held the rank of First Sergeant and may have been commissioned a Second Lieutenant shortly after arriving..