Army Maj. Gen. James H. Rumbaugh, commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, died of injuries suffered during a parachute exercise in Honduras, the Pentagon said today.
Rumbaugh died while being flown to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from the U.S. military hospital at Sotocano Air Base outside Comayugua, Honduras. Rumbaugh, 49, was in Honduras participating in the annual Ahuas Tara 89 exercise with a forward surgical deployment team. According to Pentagon sources, Rumbaugh suffered abdominal injuries during a parachute jump on Tuesday. At first, the two-star general did not believe he had hurt himself seriously and did not seek medical treatment until Wednesday morning, the sources said.
During the flight to Texas, Rumbaugh went into “respiratory distress” and efforts to revive him with cardiopulmonary resuscitation were unsuccessful.
Army and Pentagon officials declined to say this morning why a two-star general was participating in a parachute jump and how extensive Rumbaugh’s parachute experience was.
Rumbaugh took command of the Army’s most prestigious hospital center last August.