HomeNewsArticle Display

Oliver Ray Crawford: fierce, effective Air Force advocate dies at 94

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Oliver Ray Crawford, who earned his wings and commission in the fading days of World War II and became a fierce and effective advocate for the Air Force for decades to come, died Sunday in San Antonio. He was 94.

While Crawford did not see combat in World War II, his bonds to aviation and to what would become the U.S. Air Force formed early and were unbreakable.

A lawyer who spent 13 years in the Air Force Reserves, Crawford was a charter member of the Air Force Association. In 1989, he was named the organization’s Man of the Year and went on to serve as AFA president for two years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Following his tenure as president, Crawford served two additional years as chair of the AFA board.

In 1992, the Air Force officially recognized his work by awarding him the Exceptional Service Award. The award highlighted his work on Capitol Hill to gain support for stealth technology, among other efforts.

“Ollie was a larger than life guy who had boundless energy to improve the U.S. Air Force for generations of Airmen who would serve after him,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan. “He will forever be remembered by the Air Force, and my deepest condolences to his friends and family.”

While not widely known outside of the Air Force community, the results of Crawford’s work and advocacy are both permanent and visible. Crawford was a driving force in creating the Air Force Memorial Foundation, which ultimately led to the construction of the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

“Ollie was a great American – an aviator, leader and statesman,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “He was truly an original and a pioneer of our time. We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and those who knew him. We will continue doing our part to keep his legacy alive with a strong and ready Air Force.”

Threaded throughout all those years of advocacy was flying. Crawford ultimately accumulated more than 13,000 hours in more than 100 aircraft. Among them was a U-2, which came when he was 84 years old, making him the oldest person to receive a flight in the high-altitude surveillance plane.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @theF35JPO: Congratulations to the @AusAirForce for completing their #F35 training mission at @LukeAFB! 🇦🇺 ⚡ Learn more 🔗 https://t.co/2…
RT @CENTCOM: A French Rafale conducts nighttime air refueling with a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary…
RT @DeptofDefense: Jumping from a plane becomes a big step toward friendship. 301 soldiers and airmen from @USArmyReserve, @usairforce, and…
Explosive Disposal Ordnance (EOD) Airmen are often assigned to some of the most dangerous missions and perform tact… https://t.co/xYc9Ip5psn
Start this year by supporting your #Airmen in their pursuit of #resiliency. Learn about common triggers of invisibl… https://t.co/6gJSfJKvcK
RT @OHNationalGuard: The @180thFW hosted members of the Nigerian Air Force recently Officers visited the 180FW in search of #bestpractice
RT @HiAirGuard: Airmen from 154th Security Forces Squadron became first responders during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing perform maintenance on a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft in Szolnok, #Hung
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @AFResearchLab s X-60A program achieved a key developmental #milestone with the completion of integrated vehicle propulsio…
RT @DeptofDefense: If you want to get there as fast as possible, don’t stop for gas. ⛽ That’s why the @usairforce relies on airmen like Tec…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to learn more about @USAFCENT, the command that provides air & space warfighting capabilities to help defeat v…
Airmen with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard provide support at the “tent cities” to support Task Force South and… https://t.co/zg2yT0LqpS
Even the most advanced aircraft in history requires extensive maintenance performed by Airmen on the ground to kee… https://t.co/Kpv8JlzYIc
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Throwback Thursday and #TankerThirstThursday are the same game. Throwing it back to last month when a KC-135 Stratotank…
If you thought the C-5M Super Galaxy was cool before, wait until you hear @RichardHammond describe it and its capab… https://t.co/jbYbdyHx5q
Air National Guardsmen from @105AW are on the ground in Puerto Rico with their counterpart, @PRNationalGuard, provi… https://t.co/ZwzhCEpWY4
RT @HAFB: Join us for the Hill Air Force Base 80th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Hill Aerospace Museum! A nu…
Ranges are crucial to the training and readiness of our warfighters. Get an inside look at how they prepare to figh… https://t.co/i5CnbpBGAw
.@cmsaf18 and his wingman, Senior Enlisted Advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief Master Sergeant… https://t.co/UD69jCjHPz
#AirForce is always looking for ways to improve processes and patient health care is no different. @JBSA_Official h… https://t.co/ysEFjoXYCE