Obituary Record

John (Lieutenant Army Air Corps) Cram
Died on 8/30/1943


Enterprise 23 Sept 1943

Lt. John Cram Is Missing In North Africa


Grandson of Mrs. Chas. Hansen Had Made His Home Here 10 Years

Lt. John Cram, well known Blair man and a member of the Army Air Corps has been reported missing in action in the North Africa war theatre. He has been missing since August 30th.

Lt. Cram, who is the grandson of Mrs. Charles Hansen of Blair is well known here, having made his home with Mrs. Hansen for ten years. For a part of that time he was employed at the W. J. Sas Store.

Lt. Cram was the pilot of a fighter plane and he, presumably, lost his life in combat over the Sardinia or lower Italian territory during the time it was being hotly contested. He was 23 years of age and had been in service since February, 1942.

Young Cram took his basic training in Texas, was shifted to the west coast in November, 1942, and went overseas in April, 1943. He was a member of the group known as the “Eddie Rickenbacker Squadron” which had been quite active in that area.

Lt. Cram’s mother, the former Miss Esther Hansen, is enroute to Blair from California at this time and has not yet been informed of her son’s plight.

Pilot Tribune 28 Sept 1944


Lt. Cram Said Dead

War Department Presumes Death In Case of Missing Blair Aviator

In a message to relatives, Major General J. A. Ulio of the war department has revealed that no further evidence or information having been received for a year regarding Lt. John G. Cram of Blair, who was previously reported missing in action, he must now be presumed dead.

Lt. Cram, grandson of Mrs. Charles N. Hansen of Blair, was the pilot of a fighter plane which disappeared August 30, 193, following an encounter with enemy planes while on a bomber escort mission in the Mediterranean area.

Wrote General Ulio in part, in a letter to Lt. Cram’s mother, Mrs. Esther Cram, now of Joplin, Mo.:

In view of the fact that twelve months have now expired without the receipt of evidence to support of continued presumption of survival the War Department must terminate such absence by a presumptive find of death.

“The finding does not establish an actual or probable date of death.

“I regret the necessity for this message but trust that the ending of a long period of uncertainty may give at least some small measure of consolation I hope you may find sustaining comfort in the thought that the uncertainty with which war has surrounded the absence of your son has enhanced the honor of his service to his country and of his sacrifice.”

Pilot Tribune 11 Nov 1943

Cram Lost Near Capri

Lt. John Cram Was In P-38 Fighter Craft When Last Seen

Lt. John Cram, former Blairite who has been listed as missing since August 30 was piloting a P-38 Lightning fighter plane in the vicinity of capri Island when last seen, the war department informed relatives this week. Lt. Cram, aged 23, was the son of Mrs. Esther Cram, 724 So. 30th street, Omaha, and a grandson of Mrs. Charles N. Hansen of Blair.

According to details issued by the war department, Lt. Cram left Tunisia August 30 on a mission to Southern Italy. Together with several other American planes, he was engaged in a running encounter with hostile aircraft and when last seen was in the thick of the fight.

Comrades last saw him at about 12:30 p.m. over the Tyrrhenian sea, some 40 miles west of Capri Island. He was alone in his plane at the time.

Enterprise 28 Sept 1944

Hope For Lt. John Cram Abandoned

Word from the War Department has been received this week by Mrs. Charles Hansen regarding her grandson, Lt. John G. Cram, who was reported missing over Italy a year ago. The War Department has announced that nothing further has ever been hear of him and that they are now considering him to be dead.

Lt. Cram, who spent a number of summers in Blair with the Hansens, was well known here. He was first reported missing in action after a mission on August 30th, 1943. His plane and a number of other fighters were engaged in a bomber escort mission to Aversa, Italy, when a large force of enemy planes was encountered. Cram’s plane was reported to have been last seen over the Tyrrhenian Sea and it is now presumed that he fell into the sea and was not picked up.

In accordance with laws governing such things, the army is now considering Cram to be dead inasmuch as he has not been heard from for twelve months.

American Battle Monuments Commission: The World War II Honor Roll (Photo of Cemetery)

John G. Cram

Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces


94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group

Entered the Service from: Nebraska

Died: August 30, 1943

Missing in Action or Buried at Sea

Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Nettuno, Italy

Awards: Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters

~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

Printed in the Washington County Enterprise on 9/23/1943