'The David Rubitsky Story'

Many Americans have fought valiantly (with the help of local villagers) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) during WWII to gun down or drive out the Japanese forces. One of these American heroes is Sgt. David Rubitsky. Mr. Rubitsky, now 85, lives in Milton, Wisconsin.

On December 1, 1942, Sgt. Rubitsky single-handedly killed 500 to 600 Japanese soldiers in a ferocious 21-hour battle with the advancing Japanese troops, thereby saving two infantries of American troops from being decimated by the Japanese in a surprise attack.

Soon after that victory in the ‘Battle of Buna’ in PNG, Sgt. Rubitsky was recommended for the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. Congress.

But Sgt. Rubitsky didn’t get the award. Congress declined to give him the Congressional Medal of Honor after reviewing the case in 1987, despite notarized statements from superior officers regarding Sgt. Rubitsky’s wartime accomplishments in the PNG jungles.

Although Mr. Rubitsky’s own government declined to give him the Medal of Honor, the PNG and British governments granted Mr. Rubitsky the MBE from Queen Elizabeth II, for his valor in battle and selfless wartime services to promote and defend democracy and freedom for PNG and his country. Sgt. Rubitsky was given the award only after a noted historian – specifically commissioned by the PNG Government to investigate the story – had conducted a months-long inquiry and came to the unavoidable conclusion that ‘The Rubitsky Story’ was, in fact, true and authentic. The inquiry had included interviews with local villagers (some of whom would, in 1999, meet their wartime hero – the man who, 57 years earlier, had “made the river turn read with the blood of their enemies”), review of primary documents and other primary sources.

Why didn’t Sgt. Rubitsky get the Congressional Medal of Honor? Does it have anything to do with the fact that he is Jewish? Mr. Rubitsky, along with his hundreds of thousands of supporters in PNG and the U.S., has do doubts why he was denied the medal. As Mr. Rubitsky himself said in a recent interview, “all I want is them (the U.S. Government) to say I deserved it and I didn’t get it because of discrimination. I don’t want the medal. It’s the principle.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 22, 2001.)

Read this amazing story of super-human heroism and extraordinary ‘courage under fire’ on his website www.rubitsky.com.

Copyright © 2004 Embassy of Papua New Guinea to the Americas and Globescope, Inc.
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