John Edward Crowley

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
25 September 1949 - 10 August 1970
Williamson, New York
Panel 08W Line 099

Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit, RVN Campaign
John E Crowley

The database page for John Edward Crowley

Specialist John Edward Crowley

is remembered by his friends and comrades of
Williamson (New York) American Legion Post #394.

American Legion Post #394
also remembers
LCpl Frank Krec,
LCpl Richard L Malone, and
SP4 Frederick C Webber,
our other brothers from Vietnam.

10 Feb 2001

Dear Roommate & Fellow Crewchief
It's been 31 years since we left you in the LZ with your Huey "Bad Moon".
The tears still come.
God Bless You.

Paul E. Christen
P. O. Box 727
Winthrop, Washington 98862

Monday, February 12, 2001

Your smile

I remember your warm smile and sunny disposition.
Why is it that God calls his best home so soon?
You will always be missed.

From a fellow WCS 1967 classmate.
Donna (Durant) Smith



I knew you only by name, but you are my brother. I served with First Air Cavalry, RVN 1970-71. I've worn your M.I.A. bracelet since 1973 & just learned of your homecoming 2 days ago. In remembrance of you, I'll wear it the rest of my life. When we meet in Heaven I'll give it to you. God Bless You.

Welcome Home, John.
Giles S. Cooper
RVN 1970-71

04 Jun 2007

John Crowley,

I participated in recovering your body from the helo wreckage in Laos.

I was given your retired MIA bracelet once we returned to Hawaii with your remains. I wear it often as a reminder of your sacrifice. I tell your story when people ask me about the bracelet.

From the medic on the 8-man search team for JTFFA,
SFC Neal Riley, 18D, 19SFG (A)
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 10 August 1970 D Troop, 1/1 Cavalry, was tasked with inserting a Special Forces reconnaissance team into Laos about 26 kilometers west of Ngok Tavok. The aircraft, UH-1H tail number 68-16520, was crewed by
  • CWO2 William E. Boyle, pilot;
  • WO Gary B. Smith, copilot;
  • SP4 John E. Crowley, crew chief; and
  • SP4 Jesus O. Alvarez, door gunner,
and carried an unknown number of passengers.

When the helicopter lost power and crashed when it was about 25 feet above the ground in the landing zone. SP4 Crowley and one passenger were trapped inside the aircraft.

A medic from another helicopter entered the wreckage and managed to free the passenger, but Crowley was firmly wedged between the aircraft and the ground. After two or three minutes of effort, the medic gave up trying to free him. The medic determined that Crowley was dead, as there was no pulse and he could get no response from him.

All personnel were extracted and another rescue team was inserted just before dark, but was unable to get back to the wrecked aircraft because of enemy activity. The second team was extracted the next day, and no further efforts were made to go back to the crash site.

SP4 Crowley was classed as Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered. His remains were recovered on 26 June 1998 and officially identified on 22 April 2000.

I also want to tell you today about the latest American soldier to come home. Just last week our team of specialists identified finally and officially the remains of a soldier of the 1st Cavalry Regiment of the Americal Division, whose Huey helicopter was flying in the weeds at 25 feet over Laos in the summer of 1970 when it lost power and crashed. The young soldier died immediately. When others rushed to the scene to bring his body out, they were forced back by enemy fire. When they tried again a short time later, they were again forced back. But finally, America returned to recover its own.

Years later, with the help of several governments, extensive interviews, excavations, and DNA testing, a positive identification was made. Army Specialist 4 John E. Crowley, of Williamson, New York, forever 20 years old, was laid to rest here in Arlington Cemetery on Friday in a simple ceremony attended by his mother, brother, cousins, nieces, and nephews. For the life and service of Specialist Crowley, for the sacrifice of his family and every family that has suffered such loss, America is eternally grateful.

From the Memorial Address
at Arlington National Cemetery
by President Bill Clinton, 29 May 2000

May 27, 2000 - A Wayne County soldier was buried yesterday in Arlington National Cemetery, nearly 30 years after he was declared missing in action in the Vietnam War.

Army Specialist 4 John Edward Crowley, whose remains were identified earlier this year after being recovered by U.S. and Laotian investigators, was laid to rest with full military honors.

The service was attended by members of Crowley's family and an honor guard of Vietnam veterans from the Rochester, New York, area. The Crowley family requested a private ceremony.

Crowley, 20, of Williamson, New York, was declared missing after his helicopter crashed on a secret mission in Laos on August 10, 1970. He was pinned under the wreckage, and a medic determined that he was dead.

When North Vietnamese troops thwarted an attempt to recover Crowley's body, he was officially listed as "killed/body not recovered."

Investigators learned in 1995 that members of an ethnic minority group in Vietnam had recovered part of Crowley's body and buried it with reverence in their village. Members of the group led a search into Laos last year that recovered more remains.

DNA analysis identified the remains as Crowley's in March 2000. With the recovery, 2,021 Americans are still listed as missing from the war.

He arrived in South Vietnam in January, 1970 and was assigned to D Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, of the American Division. His unit ferried Green Berets on top-secret missions into neutral Laos, where they harassed North Vietnamese who were bringing soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam along a supply line known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Daniel Crowley said he accepted his brother's death years ago but is relieved that his family finally has an answer. "As far as 30 years of wondering, we've reached the end of it," he said. "John is finally coming home."

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
friends and comrades of the,
Williamson (NY) American Legion Post #394

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 4 Jan 2003
Last updated 12/23/2007