Home | About | Pre WWI | WWI | WWII | Korea | Vietnam | Post Vietnam | Non Wartime | Wounded | Decorated | Contact Us | Search

Kelly Buddhu


Date and Place of Birth: February 3, 1916 Louisville, KY
Date and Place of Death:    April 2, 1943 near El Guettar, Tunisia.
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Shortstop
Rank: Private First Class
Military Unit: 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Charles W. “Kelly” Buddhu, son of Charles and Lettie Buddhu, was born February 3, 1916, in Louisville, Kentucky. Buddhu attended du Pont Manual Training High School where he was a baseball star and captained the team.

The 19-year-old shortstop was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in June 1935, and assigned to the Thomasville Orioles of the Class D Georgia-Florida League where he played a handful of games. By September, he was back in Kentucky and playing with the Falls City Lagers.

In 1936, he was back with the Thomasville Orioles and batted .197 in 20 games, before returning to Kentucky to play for the Eppings Independents.

Late in 1936, Buddhu was selected to play for the all-star team of the American Baseball Congress in the international amateur world series, which included an extensive tour of Mexico.

Buddhu didn’t return to minor league baseball and continued to play for teams in Kentucky. In May 1938, he almost lost his life. Buddhu was a passenger in a car that failed to make a turn on the outskirts of Louisville, crashed into a ditch and rolled over twice. The 22-year-old suffered internal injuries and lacerations to his head and was treated at St. Joseph’s Infirmary.

In 1940, Buddhu was playing for Bernheim’s whiskey distillery baseball team and working as a labourer at the distillery. He enlisted in the army in July 1941, and leftt for Europe in September 1942, with the 39th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division.

Private First Class Buddhu and the 9th Infantry Division, reached Algeria in November 1942. After guarding the Spanish Moroccan border, the Division headed towards Tunisia to take on German forces.

On April 2, 1943, Buddhu was reported missing in a battle near El Guettar in Tunisia. His body was never recovered and he was declared dead on April 3, 1944. Private First Class Buddhu is remembered at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Tunisia.

Date Added March 26, 2020

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice is associated with Baseball Almanac

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice is proud to be sponsored by

Big League Chew