Remains of World War II pilot lost in Europe will return to RI next week
By THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL Published: April 27, 2019
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Tribune Content Agency) — Rhode Island native and World War II pilot 1st Lt. John D.Crouchley Jr. is coming home after being missing in action since June 28, 1944, announced the Rhode Island National Guard on Friday.
Crouchley died in a crash outside of Churen, Bulgaria, during the war. In a combined effort between his nephew, a historian, and the son of a crew member, Crouchley's remains were recovered by a U.S. military recovery team in 2017.
Crouchley's remains are expected to arrive at T.F. Green Airport next Thursday evening, said the national guard. Public calling hours are scheduled for Friday, May 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Smith-Mason Funeral home, 398 Willet Ave., Riverside. The funeral, which will be private, will take place on Saturday, May 4, at the North Burial Grounds in Bristol.
Crouchley will posthumously receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, World War II, Victory medal, Presidential Unit Citation, U.S. Army Air Force Pilot Wings Badge, and Honorable Service Lapel Button World-War II.