SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT
UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE | UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
Dates of Service
16 January 1943 – 31 October 1945
29 June 1946 – 31 July 1968
John “Jack” Huston McCracken, son of William Paul and Margaret Huston McCracken was born on 26 November, 1922, in Pittsburgh, PA. Jack is the grandson of James Murphy and Sibit Jane McCracken, and great-grandson of Joshua and Elizabeth Campbell McCracken.
Jack served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II as a B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber “Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner”. His crew was assigned to the 570th Bomb Squadron, 390th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force at Station 153, Framlingham, England. His plane was shot down on his 18th bombing mission by German anti-aircraft guns. Jack and crew members bailed out of the burning and fast-descending plane near Bonn, Germany; here he was immediately captured and imprisoned for the duration of the war (8 months).
Jack was imprisoned in Stalag Luft IV, Grossychow, Germany, for five months, and at Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany, for three months. He was honorably discharged from the US Army Air Force on October 31, 1945.
On June 29, 1946, Jack reenlisted in the US Army Air Force which later became the US Air Force and was no longer under the command of the US Army. Jack served in the US Air Force as a Ground Safety Superintendent until his retirement on August 1, 1968. Jack returned six months later as a Civilian Ground and Traffic Safety Officer in the Military Airlift Command. He again retired with over 38 years of Air Force service on July 30, 1982.
Jack’s daughter, Donna McCracken, lives in The Parke, Ocean Pines, MD, and shared this story for posterity.