THE WASHINGTON POST - March 17, 2006, METRO Page B06


By combining them in the same paragraph, this obituary implies that his service with the 563rd Fighter-Bomber Squadron and with the Twelfth Air Force were part of his WWII service. In fact that service was from 1955-1958. During WWII his service was with the 401st Fighter Bomber Squadron, 370th Fighter Group and then with the IX Tactical Air Command. During the occupation he served with the 70th Fighter Wing at Neubiberg, Germany

Since Etain Air Base France was not ready for flight operations, the 563rd was intermly based at Bitburg Germany. By the time it deployed to Etain, Gen. Cragg had already transfered to the 12th Air Force

Edward and Peter Cragg are his sons by his first wife, Helen Cragg, Dawn Cragg is his daughter by his second wife Galina Cragg
Maj. Gen. Ernest T. Cragg
Air Force Officer

Ernest T. Cragg, a retired major general in the Air Force and a World War II pilot, died March 9 of congestive heart failure at his home in Arlington.

Gen. Cragg was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1943. He also received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University and graduated from the National War College, both in 1963.

During World War II, he served in the European theater as a pilot, flight commander and assistant operations officer, completing 76 combat missions in P-38s and P-51s. He served with the 563rd Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Etain air base in France and with the Twelfth Air Force in Ramstein, Germany.

In 1965, he became commander of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing in England. He also served as commander of the 3500th Pilot Training Wing at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Tex., which he considered his favorite and most challenging assignment. After commanding the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center at Norton Air Force Base, Calif., he became chief of staff of the Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, based in Naples, Italy. A command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, he retired in 1975.

Gen. Cragg's decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters. On the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy, he attended a dinner celebration in Portsmouth, England, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.

After retiring from the military, he became general director of RTB-Olympic Travel in New York City, charged with the logistical planning and management for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. After the Olympics, he served as chief executive officer of the Society of Military Travelers, a travel agency that catered primarily to military personnel and their families. He retired a second time in 1994. He also wrote a travel guide for the military.

In Arlington, Gen. Cragg was active with a local chapter of Ducks Unlimited and was the neighborhood handyman for small repairs and other needs. He also built a 1929 Mercedes-Benz from a kit, using a 1966 Mustang engine. He loved hunting on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He also hunted wild boar in Turkey and the former Yugoslavia and pheasants in North Dakota.

His first wife, Helen Cragg, died in 1972.

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Galina Cragg of Arlington; three children, Dawn Cragg and Edward Cragg, both of Arlington, and Peter Cragg of Houston; a sister; and four grandchildren.