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Reginald M. Cram
Major General Cram as Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard
Born April 29, 1914 (1914-04-29)
Died August 6, 2004 (2004-08-07) (aged 90)
Place of birth Northfield, Vermont
Place of death Burlington, Vermont
Buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Northfield, Vermont
Allegiance  Vermont
United States
Service/branch Flag of the Vermont Republic.svg Vermont National Guard
Seal of the United States Department of the Air Force.jpg United States Air Force
Years of service 1933 – 1981
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held Air Force Branch, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
U.S. Air Force Orientation Group
Vermont National Guard
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Air Medal

Reginald M. Cram (April 29, 1914 – August 6, 2004) was a United States Air Force officer who served as Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Reginald Maurice Cram was born in Northfield, Vermont on April 29, 1914.[1] He graduated from Norwich University in 1936, and was Captain of the Corps of Cadets, while also becoming a member of the Theta Chi fraternity, Pegasus Players theater group, Glee Club, Band, and basketball team. Cram maintained his affiliation with Norwich throughout his life, including serving as the Agent for his graduating class and composing the Norwich University Alumni March, “A Soldier’s Dream”. He was a Trustee from 1971-1988, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award.[2]

Start of military career[edit | edit source]

Cram joined the Vermont National Guard's 172nd Infantry Regiment in 1933. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry upon graduating from Norwich, and was assigned to the staff of Vermont’s Adjutant General.[3] He attended Boston University Law School from 1937 to 1938.[4]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Cram joined the Army Air Force for World War II. He received his rating as an Observer, and flew anti-submarine patrols in the Pacific. His assignments included temporary duty with both the Navy and Marine Corps. While on temporary duty with the Navy, he served aboard ship with James Roosevelt.[5][6]

Later military career[edit | edit source]

Cram returned to the Vermont National Guard after the war, and joined the active Air Force in 1947. He was a specialist in long range planning and international relations, including the creation of policies and programs during the Korean War, and his assignments included: Secretary of the United States-Canada Regional Planning Group, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization entity; Director of Plans, Third Air Force; Chief, Air Force Branch, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe; Commander, U.S. Air Force Orientation Group, which provided education on Air Force initiatives including the space program to U.S. and international civilians and military members; Member, Joint Chiefs of Staff Special Study Group; and Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for European Plans and Policy.

He received a master's degree in politics and government from the University of Maryland in 1963. He was also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor fraternity for those in the political science field. Cram also graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, and National War College. He retired as a Colonel in 1964.[7]

Adjutant General[edit | edit source]

When Cram retired from the Air Force in 1964 he was appointed Deputy Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, serving under Adjutant General Francis Billado.[8] When Billado died suddenly in September 1966, Cram served as acting Adjutant General for three months.[9]

In November another officer, Brigadier General Wayne Page, announced that he would be a candidate for the Adjutant General’s post.[10] In December Governor Philip H. Hoff named Page to serve as acting Adjutant General. Cram then resigned as Deputy and campaigned against Page for a full two-year term. While both Page and Cram were Republicans and Hoff a Democrat, contemporary press accounts indicate that Hoff selected Page because other National Guard officers had expressed to Hoff their preference for Page, an Army National Guard officer, over Cram, an Air National Guard officer, because the majority of the Vermont National Guard was made up of Army units.[11] (Since the 1860s, Vermont’s Adjutant General is elected for a two-year term by the Vermont General Assembly. Elections are held in February of each odd-numbered year, and the term starts the following March.)

In February 1967 Cram won an upset victory and ended Page’s three month tenure.[12] Cram was promoted to Major General and served as Adjutant General from 1967 until retiring in 1981.[13][14]

During Cram’s time as Adjutant General he oversaw the participation of selected Vermont units and soldiers in the Vietnam War, and he traveled to South Vietnam on visits and inspection tours on more than one occasion.[15][16][17] The Vermont National Guard also constructed several new armories to consolidate operations and replace aging facilities.[18][19] In addition, he supervised National Guard activities during state emergencies, including a flood in 1973.[20]

He also increased military participation in winter sports, including hosting several biathlon events in Vermont. These efforts helped create the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.[21]

In 1980 Cram presided over a muster of the entire Vermont National Guard, which gathered in one location to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the organization’s mobilization for World War II.[22]

Retirement and death[edit | edit source]

Cram retired as Adjutant General in 1981 and resided in Burlington. He died in Burlington on August 6, 2004 and was buried in Northfield’s Mount Hope Cemetery, adjacent to the Norwich University campus.[23][24][25]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Cram’s awards included:

Other honors[edit | edit source]

The mess hall at the National Guard’s Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Jericho, Vermont is named the Cram Dining Facility.

The entrance road to the Vermont National Guard’s Readiness and Regional Technology Center on the Norwich University campus was designated “General Cram Drive” in 2004.

An accomplished biathlete, Cram is a member of the U.S. Biathlon Association Hall of Fame.

Family[edit | edit source]

Cram married Kathryn Elizabeth “Betty” Mosher in Montpelier, Vermont on June 29, 1937.[26] She was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on January 31, 1918 and died in Burlington on October 12, 2011. They had two daughters, Robin and Jane, and six grandchildren.[27]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Vermont Birth Records, 1909-2008, entry for Reginald Maurice Cram, retrieved December 12, 2013
  2. Norwich University, Norwich University Names Drive on Campus for Distinguished Alumnus Reginald Cram, 2005
  3. Vermont General Assembly, Vermont Legislative Directory, 1973, page 502
  4. Vermont General Assembly, Vermont Legislative Directory, 1979, page 211
  5. U.S. Navy, World War II Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, entry for USS Pennsylvania, July 31, 1943, retrieved December 12, 2013
  6. Stars and Stripes, Cram Named Plans Director for 3d AF Hq, October 11, 1954
  7. Bennington Banner, Deputy Adjutant Named for Vermont, July 21, 1964
  8. Bennington Banner, Deputy Adjutant Named for Vermont, July 21, 1964
  9. Associated Press, Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald, New Commander, September 15, 1966
  10. North Adams Transcript, Two Vie for Adjutant General, November 18, 1966
  11. United Press International, Bennington Banner, Hoff Accepts Cram Resignation as Acting Adjutant General, December 1, 1966
  12. United Press International, Bennington Banner, Replaces Hoff Appointee: Legislators Elect Gen. Cram Adjutant and Inspector General, February 17, 1867
  13. United Press International, Bennington Banner, Gen. Cram Promoted, June 11, 1968
  14. Vermont General Assembly, Journal of the Vermont House of Representatives: Resignation letter, Reginald M. Cram, pages 144-146, February 25, 1981
  15. Associated Press, Vermont Unit for Asia Duty, Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph, July 31, 1968
  16. Associated Press, Portsmouth Herald, McSwiney Heads for Vietnam, January 24, 1969
  17. Associated Press, Nashua Telegraph, Punishment not Planned, February 3, 1969
  18. United Press International, Bennington Banner, Guard Takes to the Hills, July 26, 1968
  19. United Press International, Bennington Banner, Guard Wants to Build, August 21, 1975
  20. Bruce Talbot, United Press International, Nashua Telegraph, Press, Government Work Together During Heavy Flood, July 9, 1973
  21. Bennington Banner, Biathlon Races in Underhill, January 20, 1977
  22. National Guard Bureau, On Guard magazine, States: Vermont, September 2000, page 14
  23. Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008, entry for Reginald Maurice Cram, retrieved December 12, 2013
  24. U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2013, entry for Reginald M. Cram, retrieved December 12, 2013
  25. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, entry for Reginald Cram, retrieved December 12, 2013
  26. Vermont, Marriage Records, 1909-2008, entry for Reginald Maurice Cram and Kathryn Elizabeth Mosher, retrieved December 12, 2013
  27. Burlington Free Press, Obituary, Kathryn M. Cram, October 19, 2011

External links[edit | edit source]

Reginald M. Cram at Find a Grave, retrieved December 12, 2013

Military offices
Preceded by
Francis William Billado
Vermont Adjutant General
September, 1966–December, 1966
Succeeded by
Wayne Page
Preceded by
Wayne Page
Vermont Adjutant General
March, 1967–December, 1981
Succeeded by
Donald E. Edwards

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