Russell H. Cracraft was the son of William A. and Stella Cracraft of Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. He served as a Captain in the 45th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Scouts of the United States Army during World War II.
Russell was taken prisoner by the Japanese and interred in a prisoner of war camp on July 1, 1943. While being transported to Japan on the Shinyo Maru, Russell lost his life on September, 7 1944 when the unmarked ship was torpedoed by an Allied submarine. His death was received by the War Department on February 14, 1945.
Charles was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart and his body was buried at sea. In recognition of his honorable service in World War II, and for his ultimate sacrifice, Russell H. Cracraft's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Russell's was one of the original names inscribed on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial.
Hellships of World War II
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database
West Virginia Archives and History