Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army 1
First Lieutenant 2
1912 1
Roba, Macon County, Alabama 2

Related Pages

View more similar pages

Pictures & Records (3)

Add Show More

Personal Details

Benjamin B Spratling Jr 1
Level of Education: 1 year of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
1912 1
Roba, Macon County, Alabama 2
Place: Macon County, Alabama 1

World War II 1

Army 1
First Lieutenant 2
Service Start Date:
08 Feb 1944 2
Service End Date:
19 Nov 1945 2
Enlistment Date:
21 Sep 1942 1
Army Branch:
Air Corps 1
Army Serial Number:
14091461 1
Enlistment Place:
Montgomery Alabama 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Race or Ethnicity:
WHITE, Citizen 3
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0156 1
Card Number: 3 1
Film Reel Number: 2.13 1

Looking for more information about Benjamin B Spratling Jr?

Search through millions of records to find out more.


Lt Benjamin Spratling/ MTO WWII


Benjamin Barnett Spratling, Jr

Birth: Aug. 30, 1923
Roba, Macon County, Alabama, USA
Death: Jan. 9, 2006   

Lt Spratling was an AAC Officer who flew so well in B-26 and B-24 that he was assigned as an INSTRUCTOR!  Opelika-Auburn News, January 10, 2006

Benjamin Barnett Spratling, Jr., age 82, of Roba, Alabama, died on January
9, 2006. The national president of the American Soybean Association in 1983,
he was recently selected to be inducted into the Alabama Agricultural Hall
of Honor in February 2006.

Born on August 30, 1923 in Roba, he was the son and only child of Benjamin
Barnett Spratling and Sarah Elizabeth Whitaker. Although his parents were
both Georgia natives - his mother a descendent of 18th-Century Georgia
Governor Jared Irwin and his father a descendent of a 19th-Century U.S. Congressman
from Georgia, Julius C. Alford - Spratling was a lifelong resident of

Even though Roba was located in Macon County, the family farm straddled the
Macon-Bullock County line, allowing him to attended Union Springs High
School in Bullock County. In 1940 he graduated and then entered Alabama
Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), whose official seal had been designed
by a cousin, William Spratling of Taxco, Mexico silver fame. On December 7
of 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he lost interest in
college and began to contribute to the war effort by helping to construct airports
in Montgomery, Tuskegee, Mobile and Warner Robbins (Georgia).


   After 1943, he had decided to become a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces
(now the U.S. Air Force). While an aviation cadet at the University of
Tennessee, he met Ruth Elmeria McCallum, whom he married in Jackson, Tennessee on
March 23, 1944, after he had earned his wings and received an Army Air Forces
commission as a Second Lieutenant at Moody Field, Valdosta, Georgia.

He proved to be an outstanding pilot and, upon completion of advanced
training and qualifying to fly multiple-engine planes - the B-26 “Marauder” and
the B-24 “Liberator” - was selected to be a pilot instructor. So, although
he had expected to be flying bombing missions overseas, for the rest of the
war, he taught new pilots at places like Cochran Field, Macon, Georgia,
where thousands of pilots were trained, and Tuskegee, where the much publicized
Tuskegee Airmen were trained.

At the end of World War II, he left the Army Air Forces as a First
Lieutenant. By then he and his wife had their first child - a son. Rather than
resume his education at Auburn, he chose to return home and begin farming in
partnership with his father.*******************************************

In 1950 his first daughter was born. That same year, he purchased a
460-acre tract of land that his grandfather (Eugene Whitaker) had owned in 1921
when he retired from Atlanta to the quiet rural setting of Roba. In 1954,
Spratling and his wife had their second daughter. The 460-acre tract grew to
1,800 acres, and, before 1967, he was running two beef cattle herds, cutting
hay, and harvesting seed for pasture crops. Always looking for ways to apply
the latest scientific information, he soon became known in his community as a
forward-thinking farmer and a person whose recommendation was greatly

In 1967, after observing farmers coming into the Black Belt from the
Midwest to grow soybeans, Spratling picked a 50-acre pasture for his first soybean
crop and harvested 25 bushels per acre. From then on it was an uphill climb
into soybeans.

Soon after Spratling began raising soybeans, he bought an airplane, renewed
his pilot’s license and built an airstrip across the road from his house at
Roba, which he got licensed as a private airport (Spratling Field) by the
state Aeronautics Bureau. Having his own plane made it possible for him to
fly to many Soybean Association meetings. By the time his soybean acreage
peaked at near 1,100, he had become a national soybean industry “celebrity.”

After serving a term as president of the Alabama Soybean Association, as a
member of the national board of the American Soybean Association for six
years, as well as a national vice president for three years, Spratling was
elected national president of the American Soybean Association in 1982 and
served as president in 1983 and chairman of the board in 1984. As president and
chairman, he traveled the world promoting open markets for American soybeans
in such places as China, Pakistan, Japan, Europe, Latin America and Africa,
and became a well-known soybean advocate to congressmen and the Reagan
administration in Washington, D.C., testifying before Congress at least three
times to encourage the free marketing of soybeans worldwide.
In 1985 he received the American Soybean Association’s highest honor: the
“Honorary Life Membership Award,” which is awarded each year to an
outstanding soybean industry leader. The presenter of the 1985 award at the SOYBEAN
EXPO in San Antonio said: “B.B. Spratling has contributed unselfishly over
many years to serve in numerous leadership capacities for both the Alabama and
American Soybean Associations, and the soybean industry in general. In
fact, his leadership helped build the Alabama Soybean Association to one of the
most respected state associations in all of agriculture. B.B. is a leader in
soybean production in his native state [of Alabama] and he serves on
several advisory boards and organizations. He has sacrificed many hours from his
farming operation in Roba to serve soybean farmers nationwide.”

In addition to his achievements in the soybean industry, Spratling was
actively involved in rural electrification for many years. His father, B. B.
Spratling, Sr., had been a founder of Dixie Electric, a member-owned electric
utility serving more than 18,000 members in eight Alabama counties (Barbour,
Bullock, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Pike and Tallapoosa) in 1936, and
had served on the cooperative’s board of trustees in Union Springs from its
inception until his death in 1979. Upon his father’s death, B. B. was
elected to his father’s seat on the board and has continued to serve as a member
of that board and, since 1985, as secretary-treasurer of the cooperative. He
was also a director of the statewide Alabama Rural Electric Association for
many years. In 1985 Spratling was elected to the board of trustees of
Alabama Electric Cooperative, Andalusia, a generation and transmission cooperative
that provides wholesale power to twenty-one electric cooperatives in
Alabama and Florida.

In 2004 he received the Jeffcoat Outstanding Service Award from Alabama
Electric Cooperative in recognition of his many contributions to that

He was a member and deacon at First Baptist Church of Union Springs. He
also served terms as director of the American National Bank of Union Springs
(now AmeriFirst Bank), trustee of Macon Academy, president of the Macon County
Cattlemen’s Association, president on three separate occasions of the Macon
County Farm Bureau (now Macon County Farmers Federation), and chairman of
the Alabama Farmers Federation State Soybean Committee and was a member of
the Alabama Crop Improvement Association.

In 2001 Spratling remarried, and he is survived by his second wife, Dorothy
Reynolds Spratling. He is also survived by Mrs. Ruth Elmeria McCallum
Spratling of Montgomery, their son, Benjamin Barnett Spratling III (Susan Foy) of
Mountain Brook; their two daughters, Dr. Ruth Elizabeth Spratling Nabors
(Guy Dennis Nabors) of Alexander City and Sarah Marie Spratling of Montgomery;
their five grandchildren, Patricia Camille Spratling, Benjamin Barnett
Spratling IV, both of Mountain Brook, and Sarah Caroline Nabors, Guy Dennis
Nabors, Jr. and Ross Spratling Nabors, all of Alexander City; a first cousin,
Mrs. Annie Lou Whitaker Lauler; and a first cousin, once removed, William C.

Graveside service will be conducted at the Tuskegee City Cemetery,
Tuskegee, Alabama, by Reverend Tom Randall and Reverend Jeff Wilson on Wednesday,
January 11, 2006 at 2:00 o’clock p. m., under the direction of Corbitt’s
Funeral Home of Tuskegee. Visitation will be from 12:30 p. m. until 1:30 p.m. at
Corbitt’s Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Charles Agerton, Dr. Andrew Callaway, William C.
Lauler, Archie Moot, Ray Talley and Walter Vail.
Members of the board of trustees of Dixie Electric Cooperative, Parker Gray
Mount, I. D. McClurkin, James Sikes, Irvin Wells, R. E. Adams, Sara T.
Boykin, Albert J. Perry and Aaron Ellis will be honorary pallbearers.

  321st BG Historical Research Team;  John T Fitzgerald, Patti Johnson and Barbi Ennis Connolly;  (319th and 321st BG Historian in the 57th Bomb Wing)

Lt Benjamin B Spratling, Jr. AAC Officer, MTO


Lt Benjamin Spratling, Jr.  AAC Officer;   Spratling, Benj. B. Jr. 0-823475


321stBG Historical Research Team;  John T Fitzgerald, Patti Johnson and Barbi Ennis Connolly;  321st Bomb Group Historian in the 57th Bomb Wing.

ANY information will ge greatly appreciated, please eMail me :)  Blessings, Barbi

 WWII Pilots, Lt Spratling was a PILOT INSTRUCTOR at Cochran AAF, Lt Nettles was most probably his student.   They must have hit it off because Spratling never left the States.  Lt Nettles wore it for Combat duty, coming home with it.  Most likely the A2 was given from Spratling to Nettles who wore it next and returned home with it.

About this Memorial Page