Robert E. Crane

Awarded Bronze Star in Germany
Mr. and Mrs. Wade Crane of Ojibwa have received the text of the citation recently awarded to their son, Sergeant Robert Crane, serving with the Timber Wolves Division in Germany.

The official paper reads:

"The Bronze Medal, Citation:

"Sergeant Robert E. Crane, Infantry Company L, 414 Infantry, United States Army, for heroic achievement in connection with military operations in Germany on 5 December 1944.

"The company to which Sergeant Crane was assigned was in position in a large factory and, after several attacks had failed to dislodge them, the enemy withdrew and began to direct devastating fire on their position. Artillery fire crumbled the roof and self-propelled guns blasted holes in the walls.

"Upon learning that a flame-thrower team of three enemy soldiers was approaching the forward part of the building, Sergeant Crane and another man quickly displaced their machine gun and, with complete disregard for their personal safety, advanced through the flying debris to an exposed position, commanding the avenues of approach.  Although endangered by the intense artillery and mortar fire, the two men waited at their post and, as the flame thrower team emerged from cover, they killed all three men in a burst of machine gun fire.

"Throughout the day, the men inflicted numerous casualties upon enemy, moving from position to position in the now roofless building. On one occasion, they were buried with debris when a shell from an enemy self-propelled weapon demolished a wall beside them but, digging themselves from the rubble, they continued to pour devastating fire on the enemy. His courageous actions, above and beyond the call of duty, reflect the highest credit on Sergeant Crane and the Armed Forces of the United States.

"By command of the Division Commander."

Sergeant Crane was born in Ojibwa in 1922.  He graduated in 1939 from Winter High School. In the fall of 1940, he entered the Eau Claire State Teachers' College, where he was a junior, when he enlisted and entered the service on April 7, 1943.

He took his basic training at Camp Callan, CA and then entered Army specialized training and was stationed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, until this program closed.

In March 1944, he was transferred to Infantry at Camp Carson, Colorado Springs, CO with Major Terry Allen's 104th Timber Wolves Division. He landed in France on September 7 and went immediately to the front.