Sgt. Ronald D. “Ronnie” Brubaker
Died: 8 Nov 1956
From FRA Member Don Allegro. In 1977, I was the Platoon Cmdr. of the DRP in 3rd Recon Bn.
Ron was a super Marine. He was killed in a training accident, specifically, a water jump, off the coast of Okinawa at Onna Point on 8 Sept 1977. I had been sent to a temporary assignment at Cp. Butler a few days before the jump and so was not there, but according to Marines present Ron jumped from a Huey with a static line and his chute deployed, but he went down and disappeared after hitting the water. Ron had done several if not many prior water jumps and was an expert swimmer, so the conjecture was that he hit his head on the skid or otherwise lost consciousness somehow. I was notified and returned, and we spent the next day doing max allowable dives searching the area. The water bottom there right off the coast after the coral reef drops off way down, and it exceeded our 130' limit. Also, there was a rough sea state. We never found Ron's body and so his family did not have the solace of seeing him return home. He does have a memorial "grave". See link.
Services for a Lancaster Marine sergeant who lost his life in a parachute exercise over
coastal waters of Okinawa will be held Tuesday, the 21st anniversary of his birth.
Parents and friends of the late Sgt. Ronald D. Brubaker, 1047 E. Orangae St., will gather at
Christ United Methodist Church, 935 E. Walnut St., for the 2 p.m. observance, according to the Rev. Harry M. Buchannan.
Sgt. Brubaker was declared dead, following a
practice parachute jump into the Pacific Ocean. Searchers were unable to recover his body following the Sept.8 incident.
Sgt. Ronald Brubaker attended Burrowes Elementary, Wheatland Junior High and McCaskey High School, graduating with the class of 1974 a few days before entering the Marine Corps.
While in school, Brubaker was a newspaper carrier, delivering the New Era and Sunday News. He also worked at American Seed Co. and at James H. Landis & Sons Inc., during his senior year.
Brubaker was a member of Boy Scout Troop 5, and a member of Christ United Methodist Church, where he sang in the choir and was an acolyte. Active in Methodist youth Fellowship, he also played a part in the MYF production of "Lightshine," which was presented in a number of city and county churches.
Born in Lancaster, Bruaker was a son of Richard T. Brubaker and the late Jane Herr Brubaker.
Besides his father, he is survived by a step-
mother, Grace; two brothers, Richard T. Brubaker Jr., Lancaster, and Randy Eugene Brubaker, Coopersburg; half-brothers and
half-sister, James Arnold, Grace Agnes, and Wallace Brubaker, all at home; two step-brothers, John Elmer Good Jr., Lancaster, and PFC Robert Luke Good, U.S.Army, Fort Sill, Okla.
He also is survived by his grandparents,Mr. and Mrs. Leo K. Herr and Mrs. Wallace Brubaker, all of Lancaster.