Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Former AFN commander Robert Cranston very ill


Posted by: "Andrew N Guthrie"

Date: Tue Jan 1, 2013 2:34 pm ((PST))


This  is to alert you to the pending death of 95-year-old U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Robert R. Cranston, the officer personally selected by General Eisenhower to command World War Two's "G-I" broadcasting operation, offiially known as The American Forces Network, Europe, or AFN,E for short. In addition to serving as commanding officer of The American Forces Network for more than a decade, he also commanded The Blue Danube Network.

Colonel Cranston is dying from complications following heart surgery on the 20th of November at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. I served under Colonel Cranston as a Private in the AFN Newsroom in 1960 and 1961. I have been authorized by his wife, Sandra K. "Sandy" Cranston, to inform all relevent publications, military and civilian, so as to give you time to update your existing obits, or to prepare one.

Colonel Cranston is in room 4128 of the Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital, 1215 Lee Street, Charlottesville, VA, 22906-0816. His home address is: 726 Cedar Key Lane, Huddleston, Virginia, 24104-3214. (540) 297-7052.

For additional information on The American Forces Network, Europe you can go to Wikipedia for general information, and you can also contact the historian at the headquarters of the American Forces Network, located at Fort Meade, Maryland. The phone number is: (301) 222-6532. The Department of Defense unit responsible for The American Forces Network is called The Defense Media Activity Broadcast Services Directorate, and no specific phone number is given.

The News Media information telephone number at the University of Virginia Hospital is: (434) 924-5679 and the Senior Media manager is Josh Barney. After hours phone: (434) 982-1100

I write as a former NBC News and Voice of America correspondent and, should you need any additional information from me, my home phone is: (571) 313-0504 and my cell is: (703) 447-2644.

I can give you this quote: "Colonel Cranston was the perfect officer to run a 14-station radio network in France, Germany, and Italy, because he had both a military background in the Signal Corps, and most especially because his family managed the commercial radio station WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas and so he knew the business inside and out."

January 7, 2013 update from Sandy Cranston:

Greetings to all from Sandy Cranston - I'm glad to report that Col. Bob is holding his own and indeed fighting for his life in his indefatigable style. Andy has caused some confusion, I am afraid re our insurance...we have Medicare and Tricare for life. The situation with dialysis is somewhat new with Medicare, I'm not sure when the rules were changed. They only allow "acute kidney failure" treatment at the hospital where the condition was diagnosed. Most of the medical professionals I've talked to at the University of Virginia don't understand these rules either. It's obviously something new.

We are praying hard that Bob's kidneys will spring back into service as they did several weeks ago after only 3 dialysis treatments! That would solve our dilemma and Bob could be transferred to Lynchburg, only an hour or so from our home. I'm sure he would recover more quickly there near family and friends, and away from Intensive Care!!!

Thanks for all your prayers, and I'll keep you informed of his progress! Later, Sandy

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