MONTICELLO, NY — I’d like to honor a brave local member of the United States Navy who gave his life in the line of duty. You may recognize his name, as it has been bestowed on a housing …
MONTICELLO, NY — I’d like to honor a brave local member of the United States Navy who gave his life in the line of duty. You may recognize his name, as it has been bestowed on a housing unit in Monticello: John Crawford Senior Housing.
Here is a brief window into the life of Lt. John Calvin Crawford, a native of Monticello.
Lt. John Calvin Crawford was born on 3 October 1936, the son of Reverend Doctor and Mrs. William Arrowhead Crawford. Dr. Crawford was the pastor of the First Church Presbyterian in Monticello.
Lt. Crawford, a graduate of Monticello High School in the class of 1955 and student body president at SUNY Oswego, wanted to serve his country with an intensity so great that he hid a childhood injury just to join the Navy.
His stint in the Navy Reserve while in college at SUNY Oswego got him commissioned upon graduation in 1960, and his assignment was in Vietnam to the harbor patrol.
Lt. Crawford, Commander Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam (CTF-115), made the ultimate sacrifice on 10 March 1967, age 30. It was on that day that the transport plane (a Douglas C-47) that he commanded crashed on land near Ninh Thuan, South Vietnam, during a non-crew, non-hostile assignment. Twenty-four other military men were also lost.
Lt. Crawford was married to the former Mary Pidel, and father of a daughter, Patricia Crawford Klunder.
He served a total of 10 years in the Navy. His remains are interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 4, Grave 2718-B-LH. He is remembered on the National Monument (Wall Panel 16E, Line 51).
His memory was furthered in 1981, when a senior housing unit built in Monticello was named John Crawford Senior Housing. Later, on Armed Forces Day, 17 May 1997, a plaque was erected in his memory by the officers and members of the Monticello Lodge #352, Free and Accepted Masons, of which Lt. Crawford and his father were members.
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