Staff Sergeant Hersal B. Cralle

Hersal Cralle

U.S. Army – Killed in Action on May 8, 1944

Staff Sergeant Hersal B. Cralle was killed in action on May 8, 1944. Staff Sergeant Cralle was assigned to 339th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group (Heavy). He was the Ball Turret Operator on a B-17 bomber named “Ain’t Misbehavin”. His squadron was on a bombing mission to take out targets inside Germany, when the plane was hit by enemy fire over Lindhorst, Germany, about 200 miles west of Berlin. According to the lone survivor of the crew, who was able to parachute out in time, the plane blew up in mid air. Staff Sergeant Cralle is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium. Staff Sergeant Cralle was awarded the Purple Heart, Air medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and numerous other Army awards.

A special thanks to Justin Alliss for providing a photo of Hersal’s grave in Belgium and the scan of the Atlantic Crossing Short Snorter.