|Sgt. Frank Crane last mission was on the 497th Bomb Group's B-29 Pacific Union.|
Francis Joseph Crane never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on September 22, 1917 in Wisconsin. His mother was born in Indiana. His father was born at sea (Frank's grandparents were German immigrants). His father worked as a planing mill woodworker and later an automobile repairman. Frank had a twin sister (Frances Josephine). He also had an older brother and younger brother who served in the navy during the war.
Frank completed 4 years of high school and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in November 1940. He became a staff sergeant in the 869th Bombardment Squadron, 497th Bombardment Group, Twentieth Air Force which was equipped with B-29 Superfortresses. Sgt. Crane arrived with his fellow airman on Saipan in September 1944. They flew missions over Iwo Jima and Truk and eventually focused on Japan.
On January 14, 1945 Sgt. Crane was onboard the B-29 Pacific Union with a mission to bomb the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Nagoya through heavy overcast. There were 73 B-29's on the mission. Five did not return, include Pacific Union which ditched in the ocean near Saipan. Four of the crew survived, but the rest, including Sgt. Crane, went down with the plane.
His cenotaph grave is at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100