"This is the earliest available picture of Ernie taken on 1 June 1943. His West Point Class graduated that morning. Due to WWII, all West Point classes were accelerated with Ernie's class being the first of the 3-year classes. Two classes actually graduated in 1943. The first graduation was in January after 3½ years of classes. Since cadets are not allowed to be married, graduation is typically followed by a rash of weddings. This picture is from the wedding on graduation day of Charles Arthur Gaignat and Patricia Kane. They are taking their wedding kiss with Ernie (the best man) looking on. The bridesmaid on the left is Myrna Gaignat, Chuck's younger sister. Chuck was a classmate and Ernie's best friend at West Point. They both served in the 370th Fighter Group in England. On July 23, 1944, Chuck was shot down and killed over France. Ernie's second son was given the middle name of Charles in his memory."
Caption written by Ernest T Cragg's son, Edward: http://ernest.cragg.info/ETC_albums/1940s%20Pictures/album/
'Patricia was born on November 7, 1923, in New York City. She was the first child of Anna (Anne) Cecile Hogan and Francis Xavier Kane, Sr... Patricia was a graduate of the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula in the Bronx, New York. Just prior to the outbreak of World War II, Patricia met a handsome, young West Pointer from Tahoka, Texas, Charles (Chuck) Arthur Gaignat. They fell in love and were married on June 1, 1943 in the Chapel located at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. The very same day Chuck graduated from West Point.'
'After flight training school, Chuck left for England in early 1944 where he was based with the 9th Air Force flying P-47's and later P-38's. This war hero flew 64 missions over enemy soil and was shot down and killed over Choisel, France on July 23, 1944. Just prior to his death, Chuck and Patricia welcomed the birth of their daughter, Dawn, who was a true joy to Chuck during the last 7 weeks of his life.'
'Patricia and little Dawn moved to Lubbock in 1945 to be near to Chuck's mother and father, Dean and Viola Gaignat, and sister, Myrna Gaignat Verner. It was in Lubbock that Patricia met another handsome young Texan, who had just returned from the war, by the name of Herbert Walker Leaverton who loved not only Patricia, but her little three year old, Dawn. After a short engagement, they married on September 26, 1947 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their romance continued from that date until the death of Herbert on February 22, 2011, a span of 63 years.'
'The marriage of Patricia and Herbert produced three sons, Mark, Michael, and Clay. Patricia and Herbert, the three boys and their big sister, Dawn, became a family that endures even today.'
This is an excerpt from Patricia's obituary published here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lubbockonline/obituary.aspx?pid=152652676
Military | Major | Pilot, Flight Commander, Assistant Operations Officer | 370th Fighter Group
Ernest Cragg entered the first of the war-accelerated three-year West Point Classes, completing basic flight training by graduation. He received Advance Flight Training at Craig Field and Matagorda Island.
Military | Captain | Fighter pilot | 370th Fighter Group
Charles Gaignat served as a fighter pilot with the 370th Fighter Group. He was Killed in Action flying an armed reconnaissance mission on 23 July 1944. He left behind his wife Patricia and a seven-week old daughter Dawn. Chuck is buried back home in...
Military | Camera Technician | 100th Bomb Group
Herb Leaverton served as a camera technician with the 100th Bomb Group.
||New York, NY, USA
||7 November 1923
|Graduated from Academy of Mount Saint Ursula
||330 Bedford Park Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458, USA
Exact date not yet known
|Married Charles A Gaignat
||722 Derussy Rd, West Point, NY 10996, USA
||1 June 1943
|Moved to Lubbock
||Lubbock, TX, USA
|Married Herbert W Leaverton
||Santa Fe, NM, USA
||26 September 1947
||16 July 2011
||Lubbock, TX, USA