Albert S. Cratch Jr.

Published 1:19 am Sunday, July 24, 2011

CARY, N.C. — Albert S. Cratch went home to be with his Lord on July 22, 2011. He was born on April 30, 1920, in the Blount’s Creek area of Beaufort County to Albert S. Cratch and Lula Bennett Cratch. He grew up in Beaufort and Pitt counties and attended school in both counties, graduating at Aurora High School in April 1939.
He enlisted in the “C” Battery 113th Field Artillery, 30th Infantry Division in 1940 and trained at Fort Jackson, S.C. In the summer of 1942, he was transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C., and assigned to Service Battery, 84th Field Artillery, 9th Inf. Division. Arriving in North Africa, Casablanca area, in November 1942, the division fought through Morocco, Algiers and Tunis. When the German forces surrendered, the division sailed to Sicily, with orders to capture and secure it. When the Italian and German forces surrendered, the division sailed from Palermo, landing in Cardiff, Wales. Using rail transportation, the division was transported to an area southeast of London to begin training for the invasion of France. The division departed England in June 1944 for France. The division participated in seven major battles, Africa and Sicily, and from Normandy through northern and central Germany before linking up with the Russians at Dessau, Germany, in May 1945.
Master Sgt. Cratch received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and several service medals. During his Army career, he served as an Army advisor in the Army Reserve Program at the North Carolina Military District and as advisor to the ordinance branch of the Chinese army in Taiwan. He served two tours of duty in the Philippines and surrounding islands. While stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, Master Sgt. Cratch participated in and supervised many aspects of several landings of special equipment and materials along the west coast.
In December 1958, he and Relieu Baucom of Apex were married and they settled in Killeen, Texas. Further assignments took them to Colorado and Germany where they enjoyed working and traveling in Europe. While stationed in Germany he applied for retirement, returning to the U.S. in May 1962, retiring June 1, 1962, in Brooklyn, New York.
Mr. Cratch was a member of Green Level Baptist Church, where he worked with youth and adults in Sunday school. He also served as a deacon and a trustee. He was also an at large member of the Apex Lions Club.
Mr. Cratch is survived by his wife of 52 years, Relieu Baucom Cratch; his sisters-in-law, Barbara Baucom Taylor, Diane Deans Baucom, and Hyacinth Rowe Cratch Lewis; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
He was very active in the community and always willing to help anyone in need.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 25, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Green Level Baptist Church. Family will receive visitors following the graveside service, with military honors, at the church cemetery.
Flowers are appreciated; however, memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice Care, 3200 Atlantic Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27604 or to Green Level Baptist Church Foreign Missions, 8509 Green Level Church Road, Cary, NC 27519.
Arrangements with Apex Funeral Home —