He was the last Coast Guard POW of WWII. Now his remains are finally coming home

Unsung Heroes
Lt. Thomas "Jimmy" Crotty (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard intends to be in Buffalo, New York for Saturday's funeral Mass and burial of Lt. Thomas "Jimmy" Crotty, a World War II legend whose remains are expected to return this week to his hometown.

Admiral Karl Schultz, the 26th commandant of the Coast Guard, plans to attend the services, Lt. Paul Rhynard confirmed Wednesday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced that flags on all state buildings in New York will be lowered Saturday as a statement of honor for Crotty, a Coast Guard figure of historic magnitude.

"We all owe a debt of gratitude to Lt. Crotty for his service and making the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country to ensure freedom for future generations of New Yorkers," Cuomo said in a statement.

Crotty died at 30 in a Japanese prison camp, after his feats amid the siege of Corregidor – an island fortress in the Philippines – turned him into an enduring Coast Guard legend. Described by historians as the leading Coast Guard expert of that era on explosives and mine warfare, the South Buffalo native was assigned to serve with American naval forces before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which soon ignited the long battle for Corregidor.

During that time, Crotty served as second-in-command on the USS Quail, an American minesweeper. He was among those who routinely risked their lives by using two motor boats – a chain thrown between them – to search for mines and sink them, thus clearing a path for American submarines.

The Americans finally relinquished Corregidor in May 1942. Crotty died two months later, claimed by a diphtheria epidemic in the Cabanatuan POW camp. After the war, the Americans buried there were moved to a common grave in the Manila American Cemetery, until DNA testing allowed the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to make a positive identification regarding Crotty in late summer.

His remains will arrive Friday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. A funeral Mass will be held Saturday in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 450 Abbott Road, followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna.


©2019 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

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"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

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Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

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The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

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