Floyd W. Craver

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Floyd W. Craver
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Born25 August 1921
Cabarrus County, North Carolina, USA
Died6 July 1987
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Soldier
  • Paint contractor

Private Floyd Wilkinson "Bud" Craver (25 August 1921 – 6 July 1987) was an American soldier and paint contractor. During World War II he was a Private (rank)|Private with I Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division. Craver was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers (TV miniseries)|Band of Brothers by Jason Done.


Floyd W. Craver was born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, United States on the 25th of August, 1921 to mother Cora Jane Lefler. He attended Grammar school and briefly worked in the manufacture of textiles prior to his enlistment.

Military service

Floyd W. Craver (serial 34311403) enlisted at Fort Bragg on the 17th of July 1942.[1] He served in the European theatre of World War II|European theatre toward the end of World War II.


On the 27th of May, 1945 in Salzburg (state)|Salzburg Austria, Private Craver and Private First Class Dewey H. Hogue, both members of I Compay, 506th Parachute Infantry, spent the afternoon together in the company of two girls during which time the four of them consumed one bottle of cognac. At about 1930 hours Craver and Hogue took over a German civilian car and returned to their billet at Zell am See. There they went to their separate rooms and cleaned up, and at about 2030 hours having secured the services of a German chauffeur, they started out for a ride in the direction of Saalfelden. Hogue and Craver were each armed with a German Luger pistol|luger. Several miles from Zell am See the car ran out of gas and Craver stopped a passing German civilian car, the driver of which was wearing the uniform of an officer of the German Army (1935–1945)|German Army with white arm band. Craver noticed and demanded the pistol which the Germen legally carried and then attempted to take it away from him. Hogue interceded and told the German to drive on. The car started off and was about 20 feet away when Craver fired three to five shots into the rear of the car, using Hogue's luger which Hogue had left in the rear seat of the car. Craver's own luger was still in his holster. The German car veered into a ditch about 40 yards away and Hogue recovered his gun from Craver and told him to go to the car end see if he had hit the driver. Craver then went to the car in the ditch, pushed the driver, backed up, fired a shot and said, "That finished him. I shot him in the head". Craver then entered the car and attempted to start it. As Hogue and the German chauffeur approached the car, Craver said to Hogue "something happened. A man was murdered", and said to the Germen chauffeur, "Don't look in or there will be two of you". Hogue urged Craver to get out of the car and he emerged with his luger and another smaller pistol, remarking, "This one has never been fired". Craver and the German chauffeur then started down the road in the direction of Zell am See to search for gasoline, Hogue stating that he would remain with the car. As soon as they rounded a curve he started for Saalfelden to secure an ambulance and report the matter. En route he heard a shot from the direction taken by Craver. Upon arrival at the Command Post|CP in Saalfelden, Hogue reported the events of the evening and a search party was organized and an ambulance called. When they returned to the scene the car in which Hogue and Craver had been riding was gone. The other car was still there and the occupant was examined by a medic and found.to be dead as a result of four or five shots through the body and one shot through the head. He was identified as Eduard Altacher, a Hauptmann|captain in the German army. Meanwhile, Craver and the German chauffeur had met some Russians on the road and asked them if they knew where there was any gasoline and Craver fired in front of the feet of the Russians. Craver and the chauffeur continued to a farmhouse and then returned to the car and found that Hogue had departed. Craver got the car started and he and the chauffeur returned to the farmhouse, which was about five kilometers away, where they were served a few drinks. During the thirty or forty minutes they were in the farmhouse Craver appeared to be normal except for being a little drunk. Major Martin R. G. Watkin (Intelligence Corps (United Kingdom)|Intelligence Corps) and Warrant officer (United Kingdom)|Warrant Officer Dodd, both of the British Army during the Second World War|British Army drove by and noticed the German civilian car parked in front of the farmhouse and stopped to check. Craver immediately came out of the house stating that it was his car and asked for a push to get it started, to which Major Watkin agreed. It was apparent that Craven had been drinking but his conversation was rational, he recognized them as being British, knew that it was his car and that it would be necessary to push it in order to get it started. An American truck came along at this time and slowed down or stopped when Craver called for help, but when the British major said that he was helping the truck started on again. Craver then fired two shots at the truck which stopped, and Sergeant Charles E. Grant|Charles E. "Chuck" Grant dismounted and came back demanding to know who had fired the shots and Craver replied that he had. Grant asked for his weapon and Craver fired at Grant who fell over backwards in the road. Grant was not armed. Craver then turned and started firing at Major Watkin and his companion, Warrant Officer Dodd, both of whom ran to take cover. The German chauffeur who was present saw no one else firing. Major Watkin ran down an alley where his body was discovered a few minutes later by Warrant Officer Dodd and an American soldier who had been in the truck with Grant. Grant was still lying in the road with a bullet wound in his forehead. Doctors were secured from a nearby German hospital, and Grant was removed to the hospital. Major Watkin was found to be dead as a result of a bullet wound.[2]


Shortly after midnight Craver was apprehended near the hospital about four or five hundred yards from the scene of the shooting, allegedly attempting to rape a local girl. He was staggering and evidently under the influence of liquor, although his speech was intelligible and he appeared to be in control of his mental and physical faculties. At the time of his apprehension he was in possession of a .32 cal. pistol which did not appear to have been fired.[2]

Detention and escape

Craver was confined in the Regimental Guardhouse, and later upon order of Headquarters 506th Parachute Infantry dated 13 August 1945, was placed in-confinement in the 101st Airborne Division Stockade. Although he had not been released or set at liberty by proper authority, he was not present at a roll call formation held on 8 September 1945 at approximately 1630 hours and was not found after a search of the entire stockade and all installations. He was apprehended by French civilian police near Chablis, France, on 9 September 1945 in the afternoon and turned over to American Military police|Military Police.[2]


Private Craver was tried on four charges including two specifications of violating the 92nd Articles of War|Article of War for the killings of Captain Altacher and Major Watkin.

The defense introduced evidence to the effect that accused was Insanity|insane at the time of the shootings on 27 May 1945, the prosecution called as a witness the Division (military)|Division Neuropsychiatry|Neuropsychiatrist of the 101st Airborne Division who had examined the accused on 24th September 1945 and who had previously studied reports and findings of a prior examination of accused, dated 16th July 1945, by a board of five members. A study of the reports of the Board revealed that two members thereof considered accused sane, two considered him insane and that the fifth member was undecided. The Division Neuropsychiatrist testified that in his opinion, based upon a study of the reports and findings and his own personal examination, the accused was sane at the time the alleged offenses were committed and at the time of trial; that he was intoxicated at the time the alleged offenses were committed on 27 May 1945; that at the time of the alleged offenses on 8 September 1945 he was able and is now able to tell right from wrong and to adhere to the right; and that in his opinion the accused was not suffering from a psychosis or from psychoneurosis at the time of the alleged offenses or at time of trial.[2] A sworn statement previously made by the accused relative to his escape from the Division Stockade was received in evidence in which he asserted that he feared to remain there because of abusive and brutal treatment. The defense called as witnesses two neuropsychiatrists of the 227th U.S. General Hospital who had examined the accused on 7 June 1945 and who were of the opinion that the accused was insane at the time of the shootings on 27 May 1945, did not know right from wrong and was not able to adhere to the right. It was their opinion that the accused was a dope addict, and this opinion was corroborated by statements of the accused who told them that he had smoked several Cannabis (drug)|marihuana cigarettes on the morning of 27 May 1945. One of the psychiatrists admitted that he was one of a board of three members who examined accused on or about 7 June 1945 and that his opinion of insanity was the minority opinion of the board and was not concurred in by the other two members.[2]


Private Craver was found guilty by a Board of Review majority of Judge Advocate General's Corps (United States)|Judge Advocates on the 6th of May, 1946 and sentenced to a Dishonorable discharge and Life imprisonment|confinement for life at United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.[2] He was however released shortly after.


Floyd W. Craver died in Charlotte, North Carolina, Mecklenburg County, USA on the 6th of July 1987 (aged 65) when he was struck by a truck while riding a moped.[3] He was survived by his son, Steve Craver; and daughters, Vickie Honeycutt, Tanya Furr, Kema Furr and Robin Craver.[4]


  1. "NARA - AAD - Display Full Records - Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records)". aad.archives.gov. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 BOARD OF REVIEW - Holdings Opinions and Reviews (Volume 62) (PDF). Washington: Office of The Judge Advocate General. 1946. pp. 319–325.
  3. "Moped Rider Killed". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina. 8 July 1987. p. 90.
  4. "Obituaries - Concord". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina. 8 July 1987. p. 76.

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