Lawrence Clair Crum, Jr., was born March 6, 1920, and served as a United States Naval pilot. A significant portion of her service was spent aboard the USS Ranger (CV-61). Nick named the “Top Gun of the Pacific,” the USS Ranger was one of four Forrestal-class supercarriers built for the US Navy in the 1950s. The ship was the first US carrier designed from the very beginning as an angled deck ship and was decommissioned in 1993.
Crum received his US Navy Aviation Pilot’s certificate June 29, 1942, seeing service in World War II and the Korean War. His collection contains certificates and identification and club cards relevant to the life of a naval pilot and officer as well as depicting bits of the culture aboard a carrier. For example, an Imperium Neptuni certificate for crossing the equator, a newspaper article explaining a hazing ritual for “shellbacks” traditionally carried out during that crossing, and cards to military societies and clubs in the United States, China, and Japan. There are also photographs of the inside and outside of the USS Ranger.
Crum died on September 24, 2002, at 82 years of age.
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