David Stanley KranerFireman
USS ASHTABULA, 7TH FLEET
United States Navy
14 June 1950 - 05 June 1972
Panel 01W Line 037
David Kraner with a "WestPac" beard.
Courtesy of Glenn Sirkis
The database page for David Stanley Kraner
My name is Tammy Kraner and I am the daughter of a man I don't know.
My father served as a Fireman aboard the oiler USS ASHTABULA (AO-51) and was lost at sea on the morning of 5 June 1972, one day before his second wedding anniversary. My mom said my dad really loved me and was proud of me but how am I to know? I don't remember him. She tries to tell me about him but she was only 18 and he was gone for so long and so much so she really don't know him.
I am proud of the service that my dad did for the country but he was one of the ones to pay the ultimate price. It is so unfair - we all ask why, but God made it his time and he had to go.
If anybody out there knew or served with my dad please contact me. I need to put some closure in my life and his grandchildren would like to know the man they call grandpa. Thank you very much - all information will be greatly appreciated ...
I was an MMFN and was in "A" Division with Kraner. He worked in the air conditioning and refrigeration group. I was on the STREAM team maintaining and repairing UNREP gear.
I didnít know Kraner well. We didn't work or stand watches together, and I didnít make friends easily on the Ashtabula. But I remember well the night that he was lost and the day we spent searching for him. I was probably one of the last people to see him alive. Not knowing him very well did not make the loss any easier to accept.
I have been to the Wall in DC twice to see Kranerís name. I had put off going for many years, because I feared it would be too painful. But when I finally went for the first time in 1995, I was glad I did. I went again in 1999. I am sure that I will go there whenever I am in DC.
Glenn R. Sirkis
01 Feb 2002I knew David Kraner while I was stationed on board ASHTABULA. I was on board the night he was lost. We didn't work together - he was in "A" Division and I was in "R" Division - but I saw him almost daily. He was a nice guy, kinda quiet but easy to like. All the guys liked to play spades on the mess decks at night and I saw him there, played with him and against him, neither of us really good but we played anyway. He enjoyed his life as a sailor (I think we all did) but he was eager to get back home too. I know his family will always miss him but they can be proud of him and his contributions to his country.
From a shipmate,
I was aboard the Ashtabula (AO-51) on June 5th, 1972. I was a Quartermaster (navigation) and one of my jobs was to set the ship's clocks as we steamed thru each time zone. So as I went through the ship I got to know a lot of the crew. I knew who Dave was and we would briefly talk. As I remember him he was quiet and stayed to himself.
I can remember June 5th, 1972 like it was yesterday. Every morning at 0800 we had muster (attendance) and it was reported that Dave Kraner was missing. It was said that he had stood a watch and got off at midnight. We searched the ship thinking that he had fallen asleep somewhere. All the QMs went to the pilot house and laid out the course to where we were 8 hours before. When we returned to that area, we spent several hours searching for him.
I think a lot of us were in denial that this even happened. We thought of every senerio trying to figure out what went wrong. I think it was a way of dealing with our sorrow. We all knew that it could have been one of us.
The Vietnam war was a very unpopular war. A good share of us were there because we had to be. When we returned home as veterans, we were treated with disrepect.
With all that said and done, we can say that we served in the Navy of the greatest nation on earth. We did the best we could in the circumstances. The family of Dave Kraner can be proud that he gave his life in service to his country.
From a friend,
Way back when, I wore an MIA Bracelet with your father's name inscribed on it. I wore that bracelet for a couple of years, never knowing what his fate was.
To make a long story short, my step-son was with the United States Marines. After he enlisted, James and I went through my keepsakes from Vietnam - pictures, my "Short-Timer's Calander", service awards, etc. Within that little cigar box (literally) was your father's bracelet.
In honor of your father, his service and most especially to you, I would like to give you the bracelet.
Tammy, you are free to write or telephone me at your will. To The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial, you are free to disclose the content of this email on your website, and contact Ms. Kraner.
Tammy, I may be reached at email@example.com. Feel free to telephone me (if you wish) at (805-579-9412.
Fred S. Walburn III
I am writing because I am the widow of David. Even though life has gone on and we have had good and bad days, it has been a hard one. I just wanted to write to say we haven't forgotten.
It's been 35 years since our loss. Life has moved on, children have been born, birthdays have passed. 3 grandsons later. One named after him. It seems like yesterday. We didn't have much time together. I will never understand why or how this happened. people say time heals, but never having what they call closure is the hardest thing. No body, no word, nothing is final except you aren't here. Never knowing the real cause of the loss is the hardest thing to deal with even after all this time.
A daughter deprived of a father she so misses, even though she was only a small baby. David's father and mother are still living, I keep in touch with his wonderful father and younger sister. Tammy is our daughter, she has pictures of David in her home as a child and as an adult. She wanted her boys to know him, even though he isn't here. I Just want to let all military families know how much your service to our country is appreciated, the sacrifice a spouse or loved one gives only a military family knows. I thank our military personnel for their service and sacrifice. You will never be forgotten...
I had the honor, 8 July 07, to pay honor and respect to your father, David, at the American Veterans Traveling Tribute in Susanville, CA.
I did not know your father but I felt very honored when I was asked to participate in a photograph in his honor. The picture that you were e-mailed by my friend, Terry Chapman, shows me to the left with my hand next to David's name. It always gives me such a wonderful feeling of pride to be able to honor an American HERO.
God bless you and yours. Aloha
Bruce D. Dyer
A Note from The Virtual WallUSCGC RUSH, USS ASHTABULA, unidentified CG, off Vietnam, 1972
Underway replenishment is a hazardous affair; two, sometimes three, ships steaming alongside at 15 knots or more, separated by less than a hundred feet, connected by a myriad of lines, cables, and fueling hoses, provide ample opportunity for disasters large and small. While most UNREPs are routine affairs, a snapped cable can turn routine into emergency in an instant. FN David S. Kraner was lost overboard during a night UNREP during ASHTABULA's last Vietnam cruise.
NOTE: I recall ASHTABULA well; the carriers I served on UNREPed from her regularly. She was a good ship, a well-run ship, a professional ship - but a ship whose mission exposed her crew to considerable danger. Fireman Kraner was caught up by the hazards of his duties and is no less a casualty of war than the infantryman ashore. - K J Davis, Commander, USN (Ret)
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 May 2001
Last updated 01/19/2008