World War II, Korea & Cold WarUS Air Force
US Air Forces Europe (USAFE)
Born: April 10, 1920
Inducted: February 8, 1943 in Oregon
Died: December 19, 1956 in Germany
Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Son of Charles E. and Helen Faye (Watson) McCracken of Yuma.
1944 - Yuma Pioneer
Son of Yuma People Wins Wings as Pilot in Army Air Forces
(copy of photo above)
Charlie N. McCracken, 24-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. McCracken of Yuma, received the silver wings of an army airplane pilot and a commission as a second lieutenant Tuesday of last week at Randolph Field, Texas, after completing training at Foster Field. He entered the air forces February 8, 1943, in Oregon.
Lieutenant McCracken will go to Randolph Field for an instructor's course which will last for four and one-half weeks and will then go back to Foster Field as an instructor of fighter plane pilots. His wife and two children are making their home in Houston, Texas.
The young man came to Yuma Sunday with his brother, Captain Delmar I. McCracken, of the personnel branch of the air corps, and their families from Great Bend, Kansas, where the latter officer is now stationed. They visited with the parents of the young men until Monday afternoon when they left to return to Great Bend.
December 27, 1956 - Yuma Pioneer
Chas. McCracken Killed in Plane Crash Last Week
Captain Charles N. (Sammie) McCracken 36, met death in Germany on December 19, when the controls locked on his F-84 which he was piloting at the time.
He had spent 14 years in the Air Force and looked forward to retiring in six more years. He served in Manila, Japan and flew 100 missions in the Korean War. He had spent the past three years in Germany.
His wife was with him in Germany at the time of the tragedy and has since returned to the United States. Besides his wife he leaves two children by a former marriage, Sonia Rae and Bennie.
Memorial services are being planned and will be held in one of the local churches later this week when arrangements have been completed.
He is a son of Mrs. Faye McCracken of Yuma.
January 3, 1957 - Yuma Pioneer
Memorial Held for Plane Crash Victim Sunday.
Memorial service was held for Charles N. McCracken at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon from the presbyterian church in Yuma. The service was conducted by Chaplain Sturdy and eighteen other airmen from Lowry Air Force Base of Denver.
Captain McCracken met death in German on December 19, when the controls locked on the F-84 which he was piloting. He was 36 years of age. His body was returned to the United States and burial was at Arlington, Virginia on December 26.
Chaplain Sturdy conducted the impressive ceremony, as color guards stood at attention at the front of the sanctuary, and military guards stood at the church entrance. Soft organ music was played by Mrs. Gilbert Ball during the entire ceremony, which was concluded with a three gun salute followed by taps outside the church. Baskets of flowers were placed at the alter, and the sanctuary was filled with friends, who joined the family in paying tribute to their loved one.
The following life sketch was read by the chaplain. --- Charlie N. (Sam) McCracken was born April 10, 1920 to Helen Faye and Charley E. McCracken of Yuma. His childhood was spent on a farm southeast of Yuma and he attended high school in Hermiston, Oregon.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1943 and served in Japan and Manila, and flew 100 missions in the Korean war. He had been stationed in Germany the last three years.
Captain McCracken is survived by his wife Goldie, and two children by a former marriage, Sonia Rae and Benny; his mother, Mrs Faye McCracken of Yuma; four brothers, Paul of Yuma, Delmar of Dayton, Ohio, Burl of Thornton and Robert of Denver; one sister, Mrs. Anna Belle Lammey of Otis; two half-sisters, Mrs. Lillie Mae Fry of Pasadena, California, and Mrs. Hazel Fry of Hutchinson, Kansas; two half-brothers, Clyde McCracken of Haigler, Nebraska, and Glenn McCracken of Hermiston, Oregon. He was preceded in death by his father and two sisters, Cora and Roberta.
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