Niagara hosts ceremonial transfer of WWII USCG POW remains

  • Published
  • By Airman Kelsey Martinez
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Family members and available service members gathered to honor Lt. Thomas Crotty, a U.S. Coast Guard company commander in World War II, during a Ceremonial Transfer November 1, in hangar 850 here.

After 77 years, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) positively identified Crotty’s remains in September and returned them to his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., for a proper burial.

Crotty was the only known active duty Coast Guardsman to have served in the defense of the Philippines alongside Navy, Marine Corps and Army personnel. He was known to have been the first coast guard prisoner-of-war since the War of 1812 and one of four U.S. Coast Guard POW during World War II.

Coast Guard officials stressed the importance of how Crotty’s service authorizes them to display the Philippine Defense Battle Streamer on their Coast Guard flag.

Crotty earned the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, and many others in his efforts to serve, protect and defend.

The U.S. Coast Guard brought the remains to Niagara  on a HC-130J Hercules, where the ceremonial Honor Guard conducted a solemn movement.

Vice Adm. Scott Buschmann, Atlantic Area, U.S. Coast Guard was the presiding officer for this ceremony.