Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bruce Crandall, Medal of Honor, Vietnam War

Crandall Has Committed His Life To Service

Lieutenant Colonel Bruce P. Crandall was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on February 26, 2007 by President George W. Bush for actions he took during the Vietnam War.
Medal of Honor winner Bruce Crandall 

   LTC Crandall held the rank of major when he was a flight commander serving with the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). And, if not for his actions during the Battle of Ia Drang, on Nov. 14-16, 1965, untold more lives would have been lost by the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment than the 499 soldiers who died that day.

   He made 22 missions into Ia Drang, bringing in ammunition for the 1st of the 7th as well as providing Medevac for those who were wounded in the landmark battle.

   Bruce Crandall was born on February 17, 1933, in Olympia, Washington, and was a child during World War II. During the war, Bruce’s father served in the Army while his mother became a welder on the home-front. He graduated from high school in 1951 and was drafted into the Army in 1953. Though it was not his initial choice whether to join the service, he soon found he liked Army life.

   By his 21st birthday, Bruce graduated Officer’s Candidate School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Engineer Corps. Then, he attended flight school, where he learned to pilot both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. After his training, Bruce served for a decade as an engineer and an aviator.

   As well as serving, Bruce was one of those who contributed to early thinking about air assault techniques and standards. Today, air assault doctrine is integral to the Army’s mission. And, it was Bruce, among others, who contributed to this area of doctrine during its beginning.

   Following his retirement from the Army in 1977, Bruce earned a Master’s Degree in public administration from Golden Gate University, in California. After earning his degree, Bruce made a second career in public service. It was during this time that Bruce was made aware of his selection to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

---Jim Purcell

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