Published Assembly Jul '97
Edward Francis Crowley
No.16041 Class of 1946
Died 17 June 1995 at Bedford, Massachussetts, aged 72 years.
Interment: West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York
Ed Crowley was born 6 August 1922 in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. Always a good athlete, he graduated from Cambridge
High and Latin School in 1939 and attended Boston, University
from 1940 - 42 where he played baseball and hockey, his true
love. He gained his appointment to West Point to join the Class
of 1945. However problems with math caused him to be turned back
to join the Class of 1946.
Cadet life was a natural for Ed. He excelled in
every aspect except that the emphasis on math and science made
academics difficult for him. Company mate Bernie Pankowski remembered:
"Whenever we met socially after graduation, Ed would introduce
me as the person responsible for his graduating with the Class
of '46. I remember spending most nights in the sinks and Ed was
my most faithful student in every subject I coached. It was really
Ed's hard work on his studies that was responsible for his graduating."
But it was hockey that saw Ed excel. He was the star of the Army
team and was named captain of the team his last year. Ed graduated
as a second lieutenant in the Infantry.
He married Rita Collins on 13 July 1946 in Winchester,
Massachusetts during graduation leave. It was then on to Fort
Benning, Georgia for basic Infantry schooling and Airborne training.
Ed's first assignment was to Korea, but it was interrupted when
he was selected to train with the US Olympic Hockey Team and
compete in the 1948 Winter Olympics at St. Moritz. He stayed
in Europe, assigned to the 26th Infantry first as a platoon leader
then later he commanded K Company. The Crowleys returned to Fort
Benning for the Infantry Advanced Course. Ed was then selected
for Spanish training at the University of Madrid, earning an
advanced degree form Middlebury College. From Spain, the Crowleys
returned to West Point where Ed instructed in the Foreign Language
Department. He served as Officer in Charge of the hockey team
and helped coach the infielders on the baseball team.
West Point was followed by a short tour at Eighth
Army Headquarters in Korea. Following a tour at the Boston Army
Base, graduating from C&GSC and a year in the Pentagon, Ed
was assigned to Attaché duty at the US Embassy in Madrid.
The Crowleys returned once more to West Point where Ed became
Executive Officer, Foreign Language Department. He again became
OIC for the hockey team. In 1969, Ed became an advisor to the
Vietnam Military Academy in Dalat. He retired from the Army in
After retirement, Ed became the Senior Vice President
and Director of Purchasing and Marketing for Manning Fabrics
in North Carolina. He used his fluency in Spanish to promote
the international sector of the business, allowing him to travel
extensively though out the world. Ed retired again in 1981. The
Crowleys were at that time living in Cornwall, New York. In 1987,
they moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Ed died 17 June 1995 from natural causes after
several years of deteriorating health. He is survived by his
wife, Rita; three sons, Ed, Jr., Kevin, and Brian; a daughter,
Carol Ann; two brothers, John (USMA '42) and Robert; and two
sisters, Mrs. John Galgay and Mrs. Edmund Cullen.
His loving wife, Rita, recalled the traits that
made Ed special: "Ed was a true gentleman. He did not make
a lot of noise, but in his quiet, efficient way he accomplished
many great things. He had a dry sense of humor - a true Irishman.
Ed was friendly. The children often swore he was running for
office. His genuine interest in people often resulted in a 'you
won't believe who I saw' as he ran into friends and classmates
at airports all over the world. He always seemed to put other
people's interests ahead of his own. He was a humanist before
it was popular to be one."
It is almost impossible to put into words the things
that made Ed Crowley special to so many people. Some of the comments
from his friends show the depth of their feelings about him:
"He was truly one of the world's great gentlemen.
I'll always remember his kindness and fairness when I was a plebe
at West Point."
"Ed was not only a great athlete and a good
soldier, but a fine man and loyal friend."
"Ed was a very special person and he had the
knack to make other people feel special too."
"Ed was such a gentle man and such a fighter
during his years of illness. Count me among a host of officers
and enlisted men who held him in high regard as a professional
"What a true gentleman he was. I never saw
him without a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. It
was truly a gift to me to have known him."
"Eddie will always be remembered for the many
outstanding qualities he possessed."
"I never knew anyone who didn't respect, admire
and like Ed Crowley, and it was my great privilege to have known
him and served with him."
These words from friends, fellow soldiers and classmates
around the world depict a loving husband and father, a great
patriot and soldier and a true son of West Point. It is fitting
then that the Class of 1946 add the words that we all know would
mean so much to our friend and classmate: "Well Done, ED;
Be Thou At Peace!"
'46 Memorial Article Project and his wife, Rita