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First Name: Fred

Last Name: Crimmins

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Home of Record: Fort Douglas, UT
Middle Name: Thomas

Date of Birth: 13 June 1912

Date of Death: 06 May 1971

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Fred Thomas Crimmins, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Fred Thomas Crimmins, Jr.
Colonel, U.S. Air Force

Fred Thomas Crimmins, Jr. began his military career in June 1937 when he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Upon completion of flight training, on 16 June 1938, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps with the rating of Pilot.

On 8 December 1941, the day following the sneak attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, HI, then-First Lieutenant Fred T. Crimmins, Jr. was serving as a B-17 Flight Commander with the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Far East Air Force at Clark Field, Pampanga, Philippine Islands.

On that day, 1LT Crimmins' unit was in action against Japanese forces at Clark Field. Following the high altitude bombardment of Clark Field by 75 Japanese bombers at noon on 8 December 1941, the field and hangar line was under constant machine gun strafing by low-flying enemy aircraft. 1LT Crimmins ran into the burning hangar that contained his assigned B-17 bomber airplane and started the engines to taxi it to a place of safety. However, once in the open, machine gun fire from the Japanese dive-bombers wounded 1LT Crimmins in the head and arms, and destroyed the B-17. [All of the B-17s caught on the ground were destroyed.] The example 1LT Crimmins set by his courageous, calm and focused actions during these deadly events, helped to steady the personnel during the one and one half-hour attack. 1LT Crimmins' courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

CPT Crimmins was sent to the U.S. for hospitalization and recovery from his serious wounds. After his release, he completed a short tour of duty in the U.S. In May 1943, now-Lieutenant Colonel Crimmins was sent to North Africa as Commander of the 396th Bombardment Group. He returning to the U.S. in May 1944, where he occupied several commands and completed the Air Staff course at the Command and General Staff school and the European Studies course at Columbia University.

During World War II he served in campaign in the Philippines, the Central Pacific, the East Indies, India-Burma, Europe, and North Africa. After World War II he served on the Berlin Airlift.

In April 1946, LTC Crimmins went to Germany to participate in the Berlin Airlift as Commanding Officer at Bremen Air Force Base and Deputy Base Commander at Templehof Air Force Base in Berlin. He subsequently served in several command capacities with the 61st Troop Carrier Wing in Europe before returning to the United States in June 1949 to attend a course in Joint Operations at the Armed Forces Staff College.

In January 1950, Colonel Crimmins became Commanding Officer and Vice Commander with the 32nd Air Division. He then completed the Instructors’ course at Williams Air Force Base, AZ, qualifying as a Jet Pilot. In June 1951, Col Crimmins began his 2-year assignment at O’Hare Field as the Field and Wing Commander of all Air Force units based at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. On 7 July 1953, he began attending the Air Force's Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Purple Heart
Air Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (Germany)
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award
Command Pilot Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Air Corps), [then First Lieutenant] Fred T. Crimmins, Jr., United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in aerial combat while serving with the 19th Bombardment Group (H), FAR EAST Air Force, in action against enemy forces on 8 December 1941, at Clark Field in the Philippine Islands. Immediately following the high altitude bombardment of Clark Field, Pampanga, Philippine Islands, by 75 bombers at noon on 8 December 1941, while the field and hangar line was under constant machine gun strafing by low-flying enemy aircraft, Captain Crimmins rushed into the burning hangar which contained his assigned airplane and started the engines to taxi it to a place of safety. However, when in the open, intense and accurate dive-bomber machine gun fire wounded Captain Crimmins in the head and arms, and destroyed the plane. The example set in this instance of calmness and service under such extreme hazards and odds did much to steady the personnel during the attack, which lasted one hour and a half. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by Captain Crimmins on this occasion have upheld the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Office of the Department Commander, South West Pacific Command, General Orders No. 2 (1942)

Death and Burial

Colonel Fred Thomas Crimmins, Jr. died on 6 May 1971. He is buried at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, in the Chimes Garden, Section 14.


Honoree ID: 312548   Created by: MHOH




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