US airman conundrum

Discussion in 'Non U.K. Forces' started by polly, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. polly

    polly Member

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    I have a conundrum which I hope someone on the board maybe able to help with.
    I am researching a friend's grandfather, who he never knew, but has the following info on him:
    His name- Franklin Theodore Crain
    Enlisted with American airforce in Champaigne, Illinois.
    Was based at RAF Bottisham

    I have searched for Franklin in various forms, Frank, Crane, Craine but the only records that seem to pop up are ones for:
    Theodore Roosevelt Crain
    Enlisted with American Airforce in Champaigne, Illinois
    Was based at RAF Bottisham

    Can anyone find any relevant info for Franklin to help me dismiss if Theodore is not the same person? Or offer advice on where else to search?

    Many thanks
    Polly
     
  2. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I can't really help, but it did strike me that Franklin could be a nickname? If he was Theodore Roosevelt Crain - President Roosevelt's first name was Franklin......

    Ann
     
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  3. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Ah, but if he was Theodore Roosevelt Crain (named after the president who died in 1919) then he may well be given the nickname of Franklin (Roosevelt) who was President during WW2 ;)
     
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  4. polly

    polly Member

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    Thank you for your replies. I'm of the same opinion as you, but I need to see if I have missed anything. The only Franklin T Crain/Crane/ Crane I have found were all to young to have been in WW2.
    Any other ideas greatly received.
    Thanks
     
  5. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Do you have any dates for this grandfather, please? Year of birth/death etc? :)
     
  6. polly

    polly Member

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    None I'm afraid. I'm going by the fact that he must have been born between approx 1915-1926 as he was based at RAF Bottisham in 1943. Presuming he lived in Illinois near to Champaigne, as other enlistment places in Illinois are miles away.
    I've checked with RAF Bottisham and at present they can only find a record forTheodore Roosevelt Crain, although the personnel rostas are not complete.
     
  7. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    A bit of a wild card, but have you read this thread? Maybe the Imperial Air or American Air Museums would be able to help.
     
  8. polly

    polly Member

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    Thank you. That's a great site for future reference.
     
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  9. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    There is a burial on 'Find A Grave' for a Franklin Theodore Crane. Could he be yours?

    http://www.
    findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=crane&GSfn=Franklin&GSmn=Theodore&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=533757&df=all&
     
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  10. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    I must say that from the information you know already, I would be strongly inclined to them being the same person. As it appears your friend doesn't seem to have any documentary evidence about his birth or age then it feels as though any information they have may has been passed down orally and not in documents. I tend to think therefore that the (unconscious) substitution of a very near-name "Franklin Theodore" for "Theodore Roosevelt" is both understandable and highly likely.

    A further clue might be in the fact that President Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919 which could be a reason for him having been given those names when he was born. A confusion with Franklin D Roosevelt would be that FDR was the President during WW2.

    Speculation of courseā€¦..
     
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  11. polly

    polly Member

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    Chimp,
    Thank you for the find a grave link. I did see this, but thankfully they add what he did in WW2 and he enlisted in the navy.

    Flook,
    It does look like it. My friend's grandfather got his grandmother pregnant and then disappeared. I'm thinking he gave the name 'Franklin' as a cover, maybe, or it was his nickname.

    Thank you all for your help.
     
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  12. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    Hi, Polly.

    I looked at the Fold3 site and found the record for Theodore R Crain there:
    b. 1922, Illinois - so possibly still living - though probably not.
    Enlisted for Philippine Division
    Occupation skilled at building aircraft.

    Will do some more digging and see what I can find. Already looked at 1940 census and HeritageQuest directories with no joy.

    Ha, ha. Also saw an enlistment record for Benjamin Franklin Crane - not even close match, though. ;)

    FYI, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt were 5th cousins. Eleanor Roosevelt (FDR's wife) was TR's niece.
     
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  13. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    Okay, according to the Social Security Death index Theodore R Crain, b. July 1922 died 02 November 2003. Time to look for an obit notice.
     
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  14. polly

    polly Member

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    Thanks very much Barb. From what you are all telling me it looks like Franklin is most likely Theodore! At least there are plenty of records for him!
    Many thanks all of you.
     
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  15. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    I found various Frank Crane's including a few who were in the Air Corps, and some from nearby states, but they all checked out as non-matches.

    I also found T R Crain mentioned in an obit for Mary Louise Crain Thomas (1918-2005). I can't view the original without paid signup. :oops: She, in turn, is mentioned in an obit for a gentleman surname, Thomas from Salem, VA. He was a WWII vet who flew planes. I cannot say for certain that Mary Louise was his wife and the other fellow was his brother-in-law. It's a common story, though, to marry a family member of a war buddy.

    It occurs to me also, that if T R and Grandma were the proverbial ships that passed in the night, she may have gotten confused or mis-remembered the name. We had that happen in Hubby's family with a sailor on leave who took advantage of an underage relative... :(
     
  16. polly

    polly Member

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    Thank you very much Barb. That's very interesting about the vet who flew planes! I'll see if I can get a copy.

    Many thanks
     
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  17. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    Here's the link, it's on the funeral home's website. Placing a break, just to be safe: http://www.john
    moakey.com/book-of-memories/1866549/Thomas-Joseph/obituary.php
     
  18. polly

    polly Member

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    That's brilliant! Thank you Barb. It looks like Joseph Thomas was Mary Louise
    'S brother.
    Many thanks
     
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