Toop
Robert  R.  Craner  
Photo
Ribbons
 
  Rank, Service
Colonel O-6,  U.S. Air Force
  Veteran of:
U.S. Air Force 1953-1980
Cold War 1953-1980
Vietnam War 1967-1973 (POW)
  Tribute:

Bob Craner was born on June 10, 1933, in Cohoes, New York. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on February 2, 1953, and was commissioned a 2d Lt on May 19, 1954. After completing All Weather Interceptor training in the F-94C Starfire, he served at Goose AB, Labrador, Canada, until May 1956, when he began Undergraduate Pilot Training at Greenville AFB, Mississippi. Craner was awarded his pilot wings in May 1957, and then completed F-84F Thunderstreak and F-100 Super Sabre upgrade training. Lt Craner served with the 8th Fighter Bomber Squadron at Etain AB, France, from February 1958 to August 1959, and then at Spangdahlem AB, West Germany, until August 1961. Capt Craner next served as an instructor pilot in the F-100 Super Sabre combat crew training program with the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from August 1961 to August 1967, when he was sent to Southeast Asia. Craner served as a Misty Fast FAC at Phu Cat AB in the Republic of Vietnam from August 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 12, 1967. After spending 1,920 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized at Andrews AFB, Maryland, to recover from his injuries and then attended Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, through an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment. After graduating in June 1976 and attending further training in Washington, D.C., Col Craner served as Air Attache with the American Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, followed by duty as Air Attache to Budapest, Hungary. He returned to the United States in September 1980 and began training for his next assignment as Air Attache to Honduras, but he died of a heart attack on October 3, 1980, while on active duty. Col Craner was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on October 8, 1980. Bob Craner was Misty 17.

His 2nd (of 3) Silver Star Citation reads:

For gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as an F-100F Forward Air Controller of the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam, while directing fighter aircraft in North Vietnam, on 9 November 1967. On that date, Major Craner repeatedly dove his aircraft through extremely intense hostile anti-aircraft artillery fire in the process of directing fighter operations against lucrative targets and defending gun positions in several different areas. His aggressiveness and courage in the face of withering fire and his complete disregard for his own personal safety were instrumental in the destruction of many of the hostile guns, thereby reducing the threat to friendly aircraft operating in those areas. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Major Craner has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

  




 


 

 
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