Saturday, January 14, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Alaska airman Frank Cranston

A P38 in Alaska, like the ones in Sgt Cranston's squadron

Frank H. Cranston could have been 100 years old today. 

He was born on January 14, 1917 in North Dakota. His mother was from South Dakota and his father was from Canada. According to census records he had a younger brother and younger sister. Frank's father was a farm laborer in 1920. By 1930 he farmed his own land. Frank had moved out before the 1940's census.

Frank had a high school education. Before joining the army air corp he worked as a salesperson.

Frank enlisted in the army air corp on March 14, 1941. He became a sergeant in the 18th Army Air Force Fighter Squadron which flew P-38s.

That unit was assigned to Alaska and participated in the Aleutian Islands Campaign to dislodge Japanese who captured some of the islands in June 1942.

Sgt Cranston died on March 13, 1943. As an enlisted man, he would not be flying P-38s. I was unable to find out if his death was due to an accident or illness.

A far better known enlisted man who also served in Alaska during the war was Charlton Heston who went on to become one of the best known actors in movies. Heston was a sergeant in the 77th Bomb Squadron.

Charlton Heston during WW2

His remains were returned to be buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. 

Thank you Frank for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Frank.

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