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Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.

Incorporated June 14, 1985... Chartered by Congress June 30, 2008

*Korean War and Korea Defense Veterans...
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MIA - Alvin Earl Crane Jr. Buried With Honors After 50+ Years

 

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Alvin Earl Crane Jr., who was shot down during Korean War while flying on a reconnaissance mission over Korea over fifty years ago, was laid to rest on May 13 in Santa Rosa, California.

1st Lt Crane was the pilot of a AT-6D Mosquito observation aircraft with the 6148th Tactical Air Control Squadron, 6147 Tactical Air Control Group. On September 13, 1951, while flying an air-ground control mission, his aircraft was hit by ground fire and crashed. He was presumed dead on January 31, 1954. First Lieutenant Crane was awarded the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Other airmen reported seeing a parachute, but the U.S. military was unable to recover his remains. In 1990, North Korea had turned over his human remains, but it wasn’t until last year that military investigators were able to use DNA testing to confirm that they belonged to Lt. Crane.

More than 100 friends, family, veterans and community residents attended the graveside funeral at Santa Rosa Memorial Park under sunny skies, including members of the VFW, American Legion, Mosquito Squadron and KWVA, plus an honor guard from Travis AFB.

Lt. Crane was buried with full military honors, which included a rifle squad, six honor guards, a flag-covered coffin and a bugler playing Taps.

During the service, four Air Force jets flew overhead before the lead pulled away into a steep climb, a formal salute known as the "missing man formation" to honor the fallen pilot. The F-16s flew over as scheduled and the T-6 group flew over in time.

Crane was born in Oklahoma on November 24, 1928, the oldest of four children, he was known as "Sonny." During the Great Depression, the family moved to California - first to Tule Lake (Siskiyou County), then to Woodland (Yolo County) and Santa Rosa.

After graduating from high school, he joined the Air Force and trained at Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato. He went to Korea in May 1951, leaving behind his wife, Ruth, and their infant son Stephen.

His mother Lois died several years ago. Crane was buried on what would have been his mother’s 94th birthday, not far from her or his father – once again reunited!

Don Clifford, President of The Mosquito Association, thanked the KWVA for helping to bring Alvin Crane home.

 

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