HENRY PIERSON CROWE, USMC (DECEASED)
Henry "Jim" Pierson Crowe was born on 7 March 1899, in Boston, Kentucky. After attending high school at Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on 28 October 1918. As an enlisted man he served in the Dominican Republic from 1921 to 1923, in Nicaragua in 1928 and at various other posts and stations. He was also a frequent participant in local and national shooting competitions, winning the coveted Distinguished Marksman Medal in 1927.
Commissioned a Marine Gunner (a warrant officer rank) in September 1934, he served on Pacific maneuvers and at several stations in the United States during the next two years. He embarked for China in October 1936, and after three years with the Marine Detachment at the American Embassy, Peiping, he returned to the U.S. in October 1939, to join the 6th Marine Regiment at San Diego, California. He was transferred to the 8th Marine Regiment in April 1949, and was promoted to Chief Marine Gunner in February 1941.
Chief Marine Gunner Crowe embarked with the 8th Marines for Samoa in January 1942, and the following month was promoted from chief gunner to captain. He was promoted to major in March 1943 and to lieutenant colonel in January 1944. He served as commander of the regimental weapons company of the 8th Marines at Guadalcanal, where he was awarded both a Silver and Bronze Star Medal and commanded 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, at Tarawa and Saipan. He was awarded the Navy Cross and British Distinguished Service Cross at Tarawa, and the Purple Heart with Gold Star in lieu of a second award for wounds received at Saipan.
Lieutenant Colonel Crowe served with the 8th Marines in New Zealand and Hawaii before he returned to the United States in September 1944, for treatment of the wounds he received at Saipan. He was released from the U.S. Naval Hospital at San Diego in March 1945, and the following month was named Training Officer of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii.
After the war’s end, LtCol Crowe served briefly with the 29th Marines in China, and with Marine Garrison Forces, 14th Naval District, at Pearl Harbor. He returned to the United States in March 1946, and after duty at San Diego and Quantico, Virginia, entered the Senior Course in the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico in September 1947. He completed the course in May 1948, and reported to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, the following month. There, he served as a battalion executive officer, as division special service officer, and as executive officer of the 1st Shore Party Battalion before taking command of the unit in July 1950.
He arrived in Japan in August 1950 to assist in preparations for the Inchon landing in Korea. He remained with the 1st Shore Party Battalion, 1st Marine Division from September 1950 to May 1951 and was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” for outstanding service during the Inchon-Seoul Campaign and Wonsan landing. He returned to the United States in May 1951.
Lieutenant Colonel Crowe was promoted to colonel in December 1951, while serving as Chief of the Tactical School Section, Troop Training Unit, Amphibious Training Command, at Coronado, California. He later served there as Chief of the Administrative Schools Section before assuming command of the Headquarters and Service Battalion at the Recruit Depot, San Diego, in January 1953. He was assigned additional duties as a technical advisor for the movie Battle Cry in December 1953 to June 1954. Following his detachment from San Diego, he completed his final tour of duty June 1957 to March 1960, as Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia.
Colonel Crowe retired from active duty 1 March 1960 after 40 years service in the Marine Corps, including 14 and a half years as an enlisted man and seven and a half years as a warrant officer. He passed away on 27 June 1991 in Portsmouth after a long illness. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.
In addition to the decorations already mentioned, Col Crowe’s awards also include the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon with three bronze stars; the Good Conduct Medal with three bronze stars; the World War I Victory Medal; the Expeditionary Medal; the Second Dominican Campaign Medal; the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; the China Service Medal; the American Defense Service Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with three bronze stars; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars and the United Nations Service Medal.
Remembering the Legendary 'Jim' Crowe - Part 1 and 2
By BGen Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Dec)
Fortitudine: Winter 1991-1992 and Spring 1992