Wednesday, June 6, 2018

WW2 Fallen - POW Walter Crawford and his cavalry recon brother

Sgt. Walter Crawford and his brother Sgt. Prentice both died serving their country during WW2.
On this D-Day anniversary we honor Walter Floyd Crawford. Walter never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he and his brother Prentice, who landed on Utah Beach, sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Walter was born on June 6, 1918 in Texas. His parents John and Ethel were also both born in Texas. His father worked as a farm laborer and later as an auto repair shop laborer. Still later he got a job as a bus driver. Walter had two younger brothers and a younger sister.

He enlisted in the Army on July 5, 1939 and volunteered for the Army Air Corps. He became a sergeant in the 29th Material Squadron / 48th Material Squadron. His younger brother Prentice enlisted on the exact same day and he became a sergeant in D Troop, 9th Reconnaissance Company, 9th Infantry Division.

The 48th Material Squadron provided ground support for air units in the pre-war Philippines. After the Japanese destroyed the American Air Force, Sgt. Crawford would have been sent to Bataan where the Americans held out until early April 1942. Sgt. Crawford most likely suffered through the Bataan Death March. He died just a month later on May 12 where the sanitation conditions at the POW camps was inhuman.

We don't know if word of his death reached his family back in America during the war. His brother's unit meanwhile fought in Tunisia and Sicily in 1943. It was next picked to take part in the fighting in Normandy, landing at Utah Beach on D+4. As a sergeant in the recon company, Sgt. Prentice Crawford would have been at the front more often than most riflemen. He was killed on August 7, 1944 when the Americans were successfully breaking out of Normandy after Operation Cobra.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving 1948, Walter and Prentice's father filled out the paperwork for the military headstones for these two brothers.

Walter and Prentice are buried at Zavalla Cemetery in Zavalla, Texas.

Thank you Walter and Prentice for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for the Crawford brothers.

Last year on this date I profiled submariner Harry Schlabecker, USS Triton. You can read about Harry here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project:

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WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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