Last night, Sunday April 2nd, we lost one of the Greatest Generation…. Herman Cranman passed away at the age of 93. Grandfather to our daughter in law and Great Grandfather to our 4 grandchildren by Scott & Morgan. I always enjoyed sitting and talking with him at gatherings … Scott called us this morning to inform us his passing.
The following is the tribute to him from the 8th Airforce Museum..
Herman Lewis Cranman, 93, of Savannah, Georgia and husband of Helen Schmalheiser (Small) Cranman, died Sunday evening, April 2, 2017, after a brief illness.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, he was the son of the late Philip Cranman and the late Jeane Litman Cranman. He joined the Army Air Corps during his senior year at Benedictine Military School. Herman graduated Bombardier school as a Second Lieutenant serving with the 15th Air Force in North Africa and Italy, earning the rank of Captain before he was discharged. During World War II he flew 34 missions over Nazi occupied Europe. His bomber group participated in some of the most dangerous missions over Ploesti, Romania and other enemy targets and they were often escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen. Herman was shot down over Hungary on July 14, 1944 and held as a Prisoner of War in Germany until he was liberated by General George S. Patton in Nuremberg on April 28, 1945. He was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the POW Medal. As a legacy for his family and community, Herman also authored a book, “A Measure of Life”, documenting these events and his family’s history.
Herman and Helen were married on June 17, 1945. He was a member of Congregation Agudath Achim and Congregation Mickve Israel. Herman was active in several civic and community organizations. He was a past Commander of American Legion Post 135 and a former docent at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.
Herman studied many years to earn his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) certification and was a leader in his profession. He was a former owner of Cranman Insurance Agency, Inc. Herman was former president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Savannah, the CPCU of Georgia and a former board member of the Georgia Independent Insurance Agents.
With all of his accomplishments, Herman will be remembered most as a kind and decent man who was a wonderful husband, dad, grandfather and great-grandfather. His patriotic love and support for his country were second to none.
Herman volunteered for many years at the mission experience sharing his story of WWII and his love story with his then girlfriend, now wife Helen. He always glowed with pride and love when telling their love story as experienced before, during and after the war. Helen wrote to him while he was in training, stationed in Italy and then a P.O.W. To hear more about Herman’s experiences please read his book “A Measure of Life.”
This is a painting by Helen Cranman featuring Herman’s forced march in the Winter of 1945 as a P.O.W. It is on display in the museum’s library.