Robert Rutherford was born in Teaneck, NJ on 8/15/1924 to Sarah and James Rutherford. He had eight siblings.
Robert attended Teaneck High School and enlisted in the Army in March of 1943. It should be noted that the Rutherford’s had four other sons who served in the armed forces during the War. Robert received basic training at Camp Croft, South Carolina and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He went overseas in January 1944.
Robert was a member of the 501st Paratroop Infantry, 101st Airborne Division and attained the rank of Private. He served as a Truck Driver. He was killed in action on 1/5/45 when his truck, which was loaded with landmines and parked next to a mine dump, exploded in a seminary courtyard in the area of Bastogne, Belgium. The cause of the explosion was not definitively determined.
This brave soldier, who was killed while serving his country, is buried in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO. In addition, a marker, with a plaque has been set up in the area of the explosion which bears the name and honors Private Rutherford and the other soldiers who died in this terrible event.
Activity During WWII on WWII Memorial Website
- Rank: Private. Served as a truck driver in the European Theater of Operations with the U.S. Army Service Company, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne "Screaming Eagles" Division. Killed in action January 5, 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge Campaign. His truck loaded with landmines and parked next to a huge mine dump exploded in a seminary courtyard in the vicinity of Bastogne, Belgium. The lethal explosion also killed 11 other members of the demolitions platoon and another trooper, who was a truck driver assigned to the regiment service company. It has been undetermined if a direct enemy mortar or artillery shell caused the fatal explosion or the deterioration of the mines. A marker has been erected on the north seminary wall with a plaque, bearing and honoring the names of the paratroopers. His body was returned to Saint Louis, Missouri for burial, with internment in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. - Orville L. Kline
- 1940 United States Federal Census for Robert Rutherford
- U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca. 1775-2006
- U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control forms, 1928-1962
National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C. Website
- War Department Files for PVT Robert I. Rutherford
- World War II Honoree for Robert I Rutherford (includes "Activity during WWII")
House Photo in Teaneck
- 414 Beverly Road, Teaneck - Courtesy of Emmett Francois, Lt. Commander USN (ret), THS 1957
- Google map location
Find A Grave Website