Craig Allan Paul

United States Air Force
28 August 1946 - 26 October 1977
Columbus, Ohio
Panel 01W Line 097



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

The database page for Craig Allan Paul

13 Nov 2002

A true friend and Airman -- you are not forgotten!

From a friend and classmate,
Jim Foster
19 Jun 2005


by his son,
James C. Griffin

14 Sep 2007

New additions to family!
Married to Danielle Demos, July 8th, 2006;
Newly adopted son, Gaige (22 mos.);
New baby boy, Carter (9 mos.)

Many heartfelt thanks to the Gelonecks, Terry and Jane;
Finally, my deepest gratitude to my uncle, Stephen Paul, who welcomed me home.

From his son,
James C. Griffin
2193 Watts Drive, Mims, Florida 32754
Home Phone (321)269-7769

17 Nov 2007

Craig was my classmate, a great aviator, and above all, my friend.

I remember Craig in Flight School in California as probably the nicest person I had encountered. He was humble, yet heroic; talented, yet soft-spoken; and he was kind; so very kind. The last adjective is perhaps not one normally asociated with the term "war hero" and is not always associated with the term "courageous". But Craig was both.

He would give you the shirt off of his back, if he thought he could help you. I remember once when I had forgotten to bring my lunch to Flight Training, and Craig was quick to hear and respond that he wasn't that hungry, anyway, and I could have half of his.

I remember us eagerly cheering each other on in Flight School in California.

He was a rare gem among us common human stones.

I heard that his wife was expecting a baby when the news of his death came to her. I cried at his grave marker when I found it at the USAFA, when I visited one summer and saw it there.

How neat to be able to meet my dear friend's son on this site. What a great Dad and wonderful human being he was!

Joe Snead

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The LINEBACKER II operations which began on the night of 18/19 December 1972 were intended as a three-day operation using B-52D and B-52G heavy bombers against targets in North Vietnam. Three of the B-52s were brought down on the first night of operations; none on the second (19/20 Dec). On the third night, 20/21 Dec, 99 B-52s operating from bases in Guam and Thailand struck targets in the Haiphong/Hanoi areas.

One of these targets was the Yen Vien railroad yard just north of Hanoi. As a "cell" of B-52Gs began their run-in to weapons release they were taken under SA-2 missile fire. At this point the aircraft could not maneuver without disrupting their bombing solutions, so QUILT cell remained on course. Immediately after weapons release, QUILT 3 (B-52G tail number 57-6496) started a hard left bank but was struck by at least one SA-2. Captain Paul and SSgt Madden were badly injured and the bomber fatally damaged. The aircraft commander, Captain Geloneck, directed the crew to abandon their aircraft. Four of the six crewmen were captured and released in Feb/Mar 1973; the other two did not survive. QUILT 3 was manned by a crew from the 456th Bomb Wing attached to the 72nd Strat Wing, Andersen AFB, Guam:

  • Capt Terry M. Geloneck (POW)
  • Capt Warren R. Spencer (KIA; remains returned 9/77)
  • Capt Craig A. Paul (KIA; remains returned 9/77)
  • 1LT William Y. Arcuri (POW)
  • 1LT Michael R. Martini (POW)
  • SSgt Roy Madden (POW)
Five other B-52s were lost that night -
  • B-52G serial 57-6481: no crew losses
  • B-52D serial 56-0622: two released POWs, four KIA
  • B-52D serial 56-0669: five survivors, one KIA
  • B-52G serial 58-0198: two released POWs, one POW died, two KIA
  • B-52G serial 58-0169: one released POW, five KIA
LINEBACKER II was extended to a total of eleven days of B-52 operations over North Vietnam, becoming known generically as the "Christmas bombings".

The POW Network bio for Captain Paul gives his unit as the 307th Strat Wing at U-Tapao RTAFB, Thailand. However, all the B-52G models involved in the strike flew from Guam, as did 24 of the 57 B-52Ds. The 33 remaining B-52Ds originated at U-Tapao.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Nov 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009