Crothers, Howard Robert, 1LT

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment/A Company
Service Years
1966 - 1968

Infantry

First Lieutenant


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

121 kb

Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
1942
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Roger Gaines to remember Crothers, Howard Robert, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
New Martinsville
Last Address
New Martinsville

Casualty Date
May 01, 1968
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Other Explosive Device
Location
Thua Thien (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Northview Cemetery - New Martinsville, West Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
53E 029

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialMilitary Order of the Purple Heart
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, Military Order of the Purple Heart [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 
 Unit Assignments
196th Infantry Brigade (Light) 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment
  1868-1968, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light) /HHC
  1968-1968, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment/A Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase IV Campaign (1968)
 Colleges Attended 
  1963-1966, West Liberty State College
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Crothers Memorialized With Bridge Name

May 2, 2012

BY AMY WITSCHEY - Editor (editor@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

Exactly 44 years after First Lieutenant Howard R. 'Bob' Crothers lost his life in Vietnam, his service and life were honored with the dedication of the U.S. Army 1LT Howard R. "Bob" Crothers Memorial Bridge in New Martinsville. The span carries state Route 2 over Fishing Creek.

New Martinsville Mayor Lucille Blum said Crothers was one of the sweetest young men she ever knew. "He was perfection. . . and we lost him," she said.

The affection for Crothers and the pain of his loss was evident in the dedication ceremony held at the New Martinsville Marina at the banks of Fishing Creek Tuesday morning.


From left, Lt. Col. Alan Tucker, Mayor Lucille Blum, De. Dave Pethtel, Sen. Larry Edgell, Sen. Jeff Kessler, and Edna Jane Hewitt stand by the newly revealed and dedicated sign for the U.S. Army 1Lt. Howard R. “Bob” Crothers Memorial Bridge.

Alan Tucker, Lt. Col., USAF, Ret., was the friend and fellow soldier who began the push for the naming of the bridge in Crothers' honor. He talked about how the special ceremony, honor, and general feeling of thankfulness that now exists for the nation's military. "We finally got it right," he said repeatedly.

After retiring from the service Tucker and his wife lived in Washington, D.C., for 15 years. At least once a year he visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Each time, he would show any visitors there with him Crothers' name on panel 53E and tell them about his good friend who was gone too soon.

Crothers was killed on his very first mission when he and four of his men stepped on or tripped a booby trap. It happened on May 1, 1968 - the first day of the deadliest month of the war that finally ended on April 30, 1975.

Tucker enlisted the help of Penny Morris and Fred and Marsha Hindman last year to secure a permanent memorial for Lt. Crothers. They sought the guidance and assistance of Senator Larry Edgell (D-Wetzel) and Delegate Dave Pethtel (D-Wetzel), who also enlisted the help of Senator Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall). All three local representatives to Charleston were in attendance Tuesday.

They also received support from the New Martinsville City Council and Wetzel County Commissioners. All three members of the latter were also in attendance. Commission President Don Mason spoke on behalf of the group. "We feel it is an honor and a privilege to participate in this," said Mason. "Let it serve as a reminder to us, the ultimate price that he paid. . . let us never forget that they paid the ultimate sacrifice in preserving our liberty and freedom."

Likewise, Crothers' sister, Edna Jane Hewitt, said, "Liberty is a precious gift whose benefits we enjoy every, single waking second." Speaking of the tumultuous time of the Vietnam War and the harsh reactions returning soldiers endured, Hewitt said, the country has healed much since then. "Today we take that healing one step further," she declared.

Magnolia High School student Sean Maxwell played trumpet at the event. Also, David Morgan, United States Coast Guard, played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. VFW Post 6327 and American Legion Posts 28, 67, and 86 provided the colors and a gun salute.

Service Number O5338613

   
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