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William Edward Cramsie


William Cramsie was one of 18 members of the United States Military Academy Class of 1943 assigned directly to the 416th BG. The Class of 1943 was the most combat decorated class in the history of West Point. Cramsie was the first member of his class to die in combat.



  • Charles Henshaw

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 416th Bomb Group

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Units served with


Associated Place

  • Wethersfield

    Military site : airfield
    Planned in 1942 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, Wethersfield was then supposed to be loaned to the RAF in 1943, but was re-allocated to the Ninth Air Force by the time it was complete. Built during 1943-44, it had three concrete runways, 49 loop...


Event Location Date
Born Marysville, CA 31 May 1919
Graduated West Point, NY June 1943

United States Military Academy

First 416th BG Combat Mission Bernay, France 4 March 1944
Died near Bradwell Bay, UK 10 April 1944

On the morning of 10 April 1944, a cold and overcast day, 36 A-20s of the 416th Bomb Group were dispatched from Wethersfield RAF station in England.
Their mission was to destroy a secret German installation hidden within the Bois des Huit Rues (Forest of the 8 streets) near Morbecque and Hazebrouck
in Flanders (northern France). The flight encountered heavy flak and was forced to make three passes over the target due to cloud cover.
Three aircraft were lost, with only one crew surviving. A-20G tail number 43-9699, flown by 1st Lt. William E. Cramsie with gunners SSgt Charles R. Henshaw
and SSgt Jack Steward lost an engine due to flak over the target and went down in Bradwell Bay between North Foreland and Clacton on Sea.
Neither the crew nor aircraft were ever located or recovered. Lt. Cramsie was a graduate of the United States Military Academy (West Point) class of June 1943,
the most highly decorated class in the history of West Point. He was the first of his illustrious class to be killed in action.

Buried 1945

No Known Grave

Tablets of the Missing
Cambridge American Cemetery
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
Madingley Road
Coton CB23 7PH
United Kingdom


Date Contributor Update
01 April 2021 18:09:34 466thHistorian Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2021 00:11:15 466thHistorian Changes to middlename and awards

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2021 00:07:41 466thHistorian Changes to role, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2019 15:15:03 Emily Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, events and unit associations