Charles Crabtree was born in Henderson, Kentucky in June 1939. He entered the service in 1958 and was on active duty in both the Air Force and the Navy from 1958 to 1971.
During his time in the Navy on the USS Hancock, Crabtree served with the X Division, as well as the Hancock public affairs office. As a journalist, he assisted with the ship’s newspaper, publications and cruise book. His duties also included assisting in correspondence and coverage of the Vietnam War. He was station manager of the local Armed Forces Network, where he ran the radio operation aboard the ship.
In his following tours, Crabtree was a part of three cruises to the Gulf of Tonkin in North Vietnamese waters. After the Navy discharged him in 1971, he returned to his hometown in Kentucky. He went on to be a part of the National Guard and Army Reserve from 1978 to 1999.
During his time in service, Crabtree served tours in various places, most notably Okinawa, where he met his wife, Kimiko.
Along with personal and Vietnam service awards, Crabtree received Good Conduct Medals from the Army, Navy and Air Force.
After his service, Crabtree returned to his hometown in Henderson, Kentucky. Crabtree and his wife remained married for 58 years. They had three children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Crabtree always voiced his support for Veterans and worked tirelessly to honor their service. He organized Veterans Day events and served on the Board of the Henderson War Memorial Foundation. In 2018, he received the Community Service Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
After a fruitful career in service, Crabtree passed away on October 10, 2019 in his home in Henderson, Kentucky.
We honor his service.
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Editor: Micayla Costa