From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Earle Craig '39

Date of birth: December 5, 1915

Date of death: October 12, 1944

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


Earle was lost on October 12, 1944 during the Formosa Air Battle while piloting a TBM-1C Avenger torpedo bomber from USS Langley (CVL 27). (This listing mistakenly has "LCDR H. F. Craig".) He was Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 44.

His parents were listed as next of kin.

Wartime Service

On October 4, 1943, Earle participated with Task Force 121 in OPERATION LEADER, a raid of shipping and coastal installations in Norway. During this attack he was credited with shooting down a Heinkel HE 115.

October 4 1943 at 1255: Ranger radar spotted four snoopers by one report and four by another. CAP F4Fs attacked. Lt(jg) Boyd N. Mayhew and Lt(jg) Dean S. Laird shot down a Junkers JU-88. Then Mayhew and Laird assisted Lt Earle F. Craig and Ens Laurence A. Hensley in shooting down a Heinkel HE-115.

On May 16, 1944, he was involved in a landing accident at Sanford NAAF; he apparently mistakenly retracted his landing gear. There were no injuries suffered by the crew. He was flying with Torpedo Squadron (VT) 44.

Memorial Hall Error

Earle's name is spelled "Earl" on the killed in action panel in Memorial Hall.

Class of 1939

Earle is one of 77 members of the Class of 1939 in Memorial Hall.