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William Joseph Crumm
Major General, United States Air Force
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Vietnam Wall Electronic Rubbing - William Joseph Crumm

Died July 24, 1967

Major General William Joseph Crumm was commander, 3rd Air Division, Strategic Air Command. He was responsible for the management, operational control and employment of all Strategic Air Command forces in the Western Pacific, including the B-52 bombing missions and all Air Force aerial refueling operations in support of U.S. operations in Southeast Asia.

General Crumm was born in New York City in 1919 and attended Scarsdale High School and the University of Virginia. He entered military service in 1941, receiving his wings and commission in 1942 through the flying cadet program.

His first assignment was with the 91st Bomb Group in the European Theatre of Operations as a B-17 pilot. He returned to the United States as a member of the "Most Deserving Bomber Crew of the 8th Air Force" and lectured at 30 combat crew training schools and all of the major aircraft factories.

In May 1943, the general was assigned to the 796th Bomb Squadron, Alexandria, Louisiana, as operations officer, and later the same year he was assigned to Second Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In October 1944 General Crumm assumed command of the 61st Bomb Squadron, Smoky Hill Army Air Base, Kansas, and shortly after he moved the unit to Guam.

In 1946 he was assigned to the Flying Training Division, Strategic Air Command, as assistant training officer. In rapid succession he became chief of the Bomb Section, deputy of the Training Section and acting chief of the Training Section.

General Crumm attended Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in August 1947. He took command of the 344th Bomb Squadron, Spokane Air Force Base, Washington, in July 1948. In January of the following year hebecame director of operations for the 98th Bomb Group at Spokane Air Force Base.

Moving to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, in 1950, General Crumm was assigned as chief of the Special Projects Division, Director of Operations, Strategic Air Command. He became chief of Operational Plans Division, Director of Operations, Strategic Air Command, in June 1953. He attended B-47 Advanced Flying School at McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kansas, and in October 1954, he was assigned as deputy commander of the 22d Bomb Wing, March Air Force Base, California, and then as the director of operations for Fifteenth Air Force also at March.

In September 1956, General Crumm served as task force commander at Thule Air Force Base, Greenland. He returned to March Air Force Base in April 1957 as commander of the 320th Bomb Wing. In October 1958 he was transferred to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Strategic Division.

He became chief of the Atomic Operations Division, J-3, Joint Chiefs of Staff in May 1960. In August of the same year he was reassigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, as senior Air Force member on the newly organized staff of the director of strategic target planning. In June 1962 he became chief of operations for the director of strategic target planning.

General Crumm received last present assignment as commander, 3rd Air Division, Strategic Air Command, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in July 1965.

The General wears the wings of command pilot. His decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.

He was serving as commander of the 3rd Division of the Strategic Air Command when he was killed on July 24, 1967 in the collision of two B-52 bombers over the South China Sea. They were on their way to a bombing mission over Vietnam at the time.

His body was not recovered and a memorial headstone is in Section G of Arlington National Cemetery.



MEMORIAL PLANNED FRIDAY FOR GENERAL W. J. CRUMM

WASHINGTON, August 29, 1967 - A memorial service for Air Force Major General William J. Crumm will be held at 1 P.M. Friday at the Fort Myer, Virginia, chapel.  General Crumm was killed July 7 in a collision between two B-52 bombers en route to a target in South Vietnam.  He was commanding officer of the Third Air Division.

He was 48 years old and was born in New York City.  Educated at the University of Virginia, he served with distinction in the Air Forces in World War II.  He was the highest ranking American casualty of the Vietnam War.

General Crumm lived at 1647 Wrightson Drive, McLean, Virginia.

He leaves his wife, Mrs. Ella Jane Tenney Crumm; three sons, William, Jr., Ronald, and Michael; three daughters, Barbara, Deborah and Pamela, and his mother, Mrs. Frances Ruth Crumm of Scarsdale, New York.


Courtesy of the United States Air Force:

MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM J. CRUMM
Died July 24, 1967 

Major General William Joseph Crumm was commander, 3rd Air Division, Strategic Air Command. He was responsible for the management, operational control and employment of all Strategic Air Command forces in the Western Pacific, including the B-52 bombing missions and all Air Force aerial refueling operations in support of U.S. operations in Southeast Asia.

General Crumm was born in New York City in 1919 and attended Scarsdale High School and the University of Virginia. He entered military service in 1941, receiving his wings and commission in 1942 through the flying cadet program.

His first assignment was with the 91st Bomb Group in the European Theatre of Operations as a B-17 pilot. He returned to the United States as a member of the "Most Deserving Bomber Crew of the 8th Air Force" and lectured at 30 combat crew training schools and all of the major aircraft factories.

In May 1943, the general was assigned to the 796th Bomb Squadron, Alexandria, Louisiana, as operations officer, and later the same year he was assigned to Second Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In October 1944 General Crumm assumed command of the 61st Bomb Squadron, Smoky Hill Army Air Base, Kansas, and shortly after he moved the unit to Guam.

In 1946 he was assigned to the Flying Training Division, Strategic Air Command, as assistant training officer. In rapid succession he became chief of the Bomb Section, deputy of the Training Section and acting chief of the Training Section.

General Crumm attended Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in August 1947. He took command of the 344th Bomb Squadron, Spokane Air Force Base, Washington, in July 1948. In January of the following year he became director of operations for the 98th Bomb Group at Spokane Air Force Base.

Moving to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, in 1950, General Crumm was assigned as chief of the Special Projects Division, Director of Operations, Strategic Air Command. He became chief of Operational Plans Division, Director of Operations, Strategic Air Command, in June 1953. He attended B-47 Advanced Flying School at McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kan., and in October 1954, he was assigned as deputy commander of the 22d Bomb Wing, March Air Force Base, California, and then as the director of operations for Fifteenth Air Force also at March.

In September 1956, General Crumm served as task force commander at Thule Air Force Base, Greenland. He returned to March Air Force Base in April 1957 as commander of the 320th Bomb Wing. In October 1958 he was transferred to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Strategic Division.

He became chief of the Atomic Operations Division, J-3, Joint Chiefs of Staff in May 1960. In August of the same year he was reassigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, as senior Air Force member on the newly organized staff of the director of strategic target planning. In June 1962 he became chief of operations for the director of strategic target planning.

General Crumm received his present assignment as commander, 3rd Air Division, Strategic Air Command, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in July 1965.

The General wears the wings of command pilot. His decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Page Updated: 17 February 2000 Updated: 1 December 2001 Updated: 3 June 2004 Updated: 22September 2007 Updated: 13 May 2008
Distinguished Flying Cross
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Legion of Merit
 
 
 
 
 
 

Distinguished Flying Cross
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bronze Star Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Air Medal 4 awards
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal