Roll-out ceremonies of the X-19 VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft. Six men representing the three branches of the military and the Curtiss-Wright Corporation stand in front of the X-19. Identified as standing left to right are: Major General Robert G. Ruegg of the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Honorable Alexander H. Flax, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh, Air Force Aide to the President; Chairman and President of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation T. Roland Berner; Rear Admiral C.T. Booth of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Department of the Navy; and Brigadier General David B. Parker of the United States Army. A group of unidentified men stand in the background. The aircraft was constructed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation of Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, under a tri-service agreement between the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Mr. Berner sent this photograph and one other to President John F. Kennedy with a letter dated August 13, 1963, expressing the Corporation's desire to develop the plane into a Presidential aircraft.


Born in Gresham, Ore., in 1914, General Ruegg is a descendant of pioneer grandparents who crossed the plains in wagon trains in the 1860s to settle in the West. He attended elementary and high schools in Nampa, Idaho, and returned to Oregon to study at the Oregon Institute of Technology and graduated from Oregon State College with a bachelor of science degree in 1939. He was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps from 1934 to 1939 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery Reserve in May 1939. He entered flying school in August 1939 and received his pilot wings and appointment as second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps Reserve in May 1940.

His first assignment after flying school was with the 27th Bombardment Group, Barksdale Field, La., as pilot and engineering officer, then as communications officer and airplane commander with the group at Savannah Air Base, Ga.

In November 1941 General Ruegg went to the Philippine Islands to serve as flight leader, and deputy and acting squadron commander with the 3d Bombardment Group. He served in Northern Australia and New Guinea, where he saw action against the Japanese and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism.

General Ruegg returned to the United States in 1942 and was assigned to Wright Field, Ohio. There he was in the Flight Test Division as test pilot; chief, Bomber Branch; assistant deputy for operations, design and development; assistant chief (later chief), Operations Sub-Division. He interrupted these duties to attend the Army Air Forces Engineering School in 1944.

In August 1947 he entered the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and graduated in July 1948. He was then assigned to the Alaskan Air Command, first as assistant deputy, then as deputy chief of staff, operations.

General Ruegg returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in August 1950, for assignment as assistant chief and later chief, Aircraft Laboratory.

He went to Washington, D.C., in August 1953, and after attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, he became senior Air Force liaison officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and. Development. In November 1955 he was appointed deputy director of procurement and production, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Materiel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and became director in July 1957. In January 1959 General Ruegg became deputy director for logistics, J-4, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In September 1960 he returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as Director of Procurement and Production, Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command, and in July 1962 assumed command of the Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command.

In July 1964 General Ruegg assumed duties as assistant deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and in August 1967 he became the deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics. He was appointed commander in chief of the Alaskan Command in August 1969
with headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska . He was responsible for all military operations of this unified command which is composed of components of the Army, Navy and Air Force in the state of Alaska.

His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. He is a command pilot.