Douglas Joseph Cradeur

United States Air Force
15 November 1947 - 05 May 1968
Sulphur, Louisiana
Panel 55E Line 009



USAF aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Douglas Joseph Cradeur

14 Apr 2002

Sergeant Douglas Joseph Cradeur was the youngest son of Theresa and Houston Cradeur. He was survived by his parents and two brothers, John Cradeur and Robert Cradeur and one sister, Nadine Cradeur. Doug was a good boy and we all miss him.

A memorial from his sister.
E-Mail address not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 4/5 May 1968 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces started a widespread offensive which came be termed "Mini-Tet" by the Americans and which involved attacks on over a hundred towns and cities across South Vietnam.

Two 4th Air Commando Squadron AC-47 gunships launched from Phu Cat to engage VC/NVA rocket and mortar sites that were firing on the Pleiku Air Base. One, AC-47D tail number 43-16159, launched with a short crew (only one gunner aboard), while the other, AC-47D 43-76207, carried two extra men - a new navigator taking his first orientation flight and an Army Warrant Officer observer.

Once over target both aircraft were shot down within minutes of each other, killing nine of the 15 crewmen:

  • In AC-47D 43-16159 (no survivors):
    • LtCol Leslie E. Harris, Chattanooga, TN
    • Maj Teddy J. Tomchesson, Marlin, TX
    • Capt Barry L. Brown, Dowell, IL
    • SSgt James E. Bowman, Jonesboro, TN
    • Sgt Douglas J. Cradeur, Sulphur, LA
    • Sgt Roy L. Lede, San Francisco, CA

  • In AC-47D 43-76207 (5 survivors):
    • Capt Donald L. Merry, Pass-a-grill Beach, FL, pilot
    • Maj Richard W. Wackerfuss, St Paul, MN, copilot
    • Capt Edward C. Krawczyk, Warren, RI, 2nd Navigator
Sergeant Nacey Kent, aboard AC-47 43-76207 as Flight Mechanic, sustained a broken leg during the crash landing but never the less repeatedly entered the wrecked aircraft to rescue other crewmembers and was awarded the Air Force Cross for his efforts. The survivors, other than Sgt Kent, were the 1st Navigator, Col Armstrong; loadmaster Kirby Wilson; aerial gunners Ducat and Bryant; and the Army Warrant, name unknown.

Available materials (Hobson's Vietnam Air Losses, for example) are inconclusive regarding who was in which aircraft. The assignments above were provided by Bernie Ducat, one of the surviving crewmembers from AC-47D 43-76207.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister.
E-Mail address not available
14 Apr 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/30/2004