Randall Craddock was born on September 19, 1945, in Durant, Oklahoma. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Oklahoma on August 26, 1967, and went on active duty beginning December 11, 1967. Lt Craddock next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, in December 1968. He then completed F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training and Pilot Systems Operator training before being assigned to the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, where he flew combat missions in Southeast Asia from November 1969 to November 1970. Capt Craddock then completed B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training and served as a Copilot with the 340th Bomb Squadron at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas. He deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, in August 1972 and was killed in action during Operation Linebacker II on December 21, 1972. His remains were returned to the U.S. on December 15, 1988.
His 3rd Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Citation reads:
Captain Randall J. Craddock distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a B-52 Aircraft Commander near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 20 December 1972. On that date, while participating in one of the most massive conventional bombing raids in the recent history of aerial warfare, and, while attacking his assigned target, Captain Craddock's aircraft came under heavy fire from surface-to-air missiles, antiaircraft artillery, and airborne interceptors receiving substantial battle damage. Despite loss of his aircraft was imminent, Captain Craddock showed complete disregard for his personal safety in continuing the attack and as a result of his heroic actions and professional skill, the target was destroyed. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Craddock reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.