Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Never Forgotten - November 2 Funeral for USCG LT Crotty

LT Thomas James Eugene "Jimmy" Crotty was the only member of the US Coast Guard to become a POW of Japan. His combat record garnered the Coast Guard a battle streamer for the Philippines Campaign. He will "return" home on November 1, 2019. Semper Paratus

Arlington Cemetery Memorial
His remains were recently identified after being exhumed from Common Grave 312 in the American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila in the Philippines.

There are many opportunities during LT Crotty's return home from Hawaii to Buffalo, New York to honor him. Please take a moment to sign his "tribute wall" LINK HERE

On Thursday October 31, the repatriation ceremony for LT Crotty at Coast Guard will be held at Air Station Barbers Point, Kapolei, Hawaii at 11:00am. During the repatriation ceremony, a Coast Guard Honor Platoon led by Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander, Coast Guard 14th District, will escort Crotty’s remains from the hearse to a HC-130 Hercules airplane and accompany the remains to Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento. There the casket will be transferred to another plane to continue its journey home.

On Friday, November 1, his arrival honors will be held at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, 10405 Lockport Rd., New York at 10:00am. 

All are invited to join LT Crotty's family on Saturday, November 2nd at Noon for a funeral Mass for LT Crotty at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Buffalo, New York. He will be buried with full military honors next to his parents in Holy Cross Cemetery, 2900 South Park Avenue, Lackawanna, Erie County, New York. Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Karl L. Schultz is expected to attend as are senior officials from the Navy and Marines. 

The family will also receive LT Crotty's Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal during the ceremony. It symbolizes Congressional recognition of the enduring bond between the American and Filipino forces defending the Philippines against Imperial Japan's invasion.

A 1934 Coast Guard Academy graduate, Crotty was assigned mid-1941 to the US Navy Mine Recovery Unit at Cavite Navy Yard near Manila in the Philippines. He served aboard the USS Quail in the Philippines during the outbreak of World War II in early 1942 and in April aided the 4th Marines in the defense of Corregidor, an island in Manila Bay. He missed the epic escape of the USS Quail's captain and 17 crew members in a 36-ft motor launch across the Pacific to Australia. Instead, with the surrender of Corregidor on May 6, 1942, he found himself on the rocky beach of Corregidor's 92nd Garage Area. At the end of the month he and most of the POWs on Corregidor were taken to Manila and marched down Dewey Blvd to Bilibid Prison. From there they were put standing in trains to the Cabanatuan POW Camp. He died there on July 21, 1942 of diphtheria. See HERE for more of his story on this blog and HERE for the official Coast Guard biography.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) has established an award in LT Crotty's name. The Lieutenant Thomas James Crotty Inspirational Leadership Award recognizes the CGMA Representative who best exemplifies a willingness to go above and beyond in the service of the Coast Guard family. Donations in lieu of flowers to support this award may be made to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance online or sent to 1005 North Glebe Road, Suite 200, Arlington VA 22201. Please note LT Crotty on the donation.

News story from The Buffalo News, October 27, 2019.

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