Last Known Activity
William R. Crandall was born in Leavenworth, Kansas on February 15, 1920 to Weller and Gertrude Crandall. The US Census 1930 shows them there, while the US Census 1940 shows him as a soldier, stationed at Fort McPherson, Georgia. There is a later newspaper article, outlining his death, and mentioning his wife, Barbara E. Crandall.
His exact enlistment date has not been located, but he was trained as a bombardier and assigned to the combat crew of Lt Wesley Sloulin in England in 1942. When the 32nd Bomb Squadron sent part of their aircraft to North Africa in October, 1942, this crew was among those re-assigned.
On January 7, 1943, the aircraft took off from Biskra airfield, but crashed shortly thereafter. The MACR does nor address details of the loss or recovery of any remains, but Lt Crandall now lies in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Hutchinson (KS) News newspaper, issue of February 28, 1943.
Lt William R. Crandall was the assigned bombardier on B-17F # 41-24350, named "Dumbo," assigned to the 32nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16242 was issued. Mission loading lists give the personnel on board as:
1 Lt Wesley C. Sloulin p
2 Lt Robert D. Olson c-p
1 Lt Vincent C. Fratalli nav
2 Lt William R. Crandall bomb
SSgt Frederick J. Hull eng/tt gun
SSgt William M. Most, Jr. r/o
Sgt Frank Kahl wg
Sgt Leslie Clark gunner
Sgt Eldon L. Kimmel tail gun
MSgt William White pass
MSgt Linus C. Leonhard pass
MSgt Ted A. Greenway pass
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
All passengers (White, Leonhard, and Greenway) were aircraft mechanics - crew chiefs. Their presence on the aircraft is not explained.