CDR Michael J. Crum, USN (Ret.)

ENS Crum became a Naval Aviator on January 11, 1980 at HT-18, NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Florida. ENS Crum was Navy Helicopter Pilot Designator Number R-15230.

(March 1954 – March 2024)

Michael J. Crum, 69, passed away on March 2, 2024, after a short illness. He was born on March 26, 1954, in Mount Union, Pennsylvania. Mike was a loving husband to his wife Barb of 45 years, and a devoted father to his sons Michael Jr., Nicholas, and Matthew.  Sadly, Barb passed away in December 2023, just a few months prior to Mike.

Mike graduated from high school in 1972, where he was a standout athlete.  In 1973, Mike enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended the Naval Academy Prep School at Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland. His class was the last to graduate from NAPS at NTC Bainbridge.  The school was subsequently moved to Newport, Rhode Island.  Mike entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in May 1974 and graduated in June 1978.

Mike and Barb were married shortly after graduation and began their Navy adventure with orders to NAS Pensacola, Florida where Mike completed aviation training and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1980.  Following Fleet Replacement Pilot Training in HS-1 at NAS Jacksonville, in the SH-3H SeaKing helicopter, Mike reported to HS-5 already on deployment in the Indian Ocean during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.  He made three deployments as a “Nightdipper” aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

In 1983, Mike reported to NAS North Island in Coronado, California and began pilot training in the Fleet’s newest helicopter, the SH-60B Seahawk and became a “Plank Owner” in the first SH-60B squadron, HSL-41, as an Instructor Pilot.

In 1986, after three years of Instructor Pilot duty, he reported to HSL-45 and became a Plank Owner in the second operational SH-60B squadron. He made one deployment to the Persian Gulf aboard USS Vandegrift (FFG-48) conducting Earnest Will Tanker Escort missions. Upon return from deployment, he was assigned as the squadron Maintenance Officer.

In 1989, he reported to HSL-43 and made one deployment as the detachment Officer in Charge (OIC). Upon return from deployment, he was assigned as the squadron Operations Officer.

In 1990, Mike reported to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. for two years of Detailer duty.  He subsequently returned to San Diego for three more tours, Safety Officer on USS Kitty Hawk, Chief Staff Officer of COMHSLWINGPAC, and finally as an instructor at Tactical Training Group, Pacific. After retirement from the Navy, Mike began his second career as a civilian instructor at TACTRAGRUPAC providing pre-deployment training to Carrier Air Wing staffs.

Mike and Barb were the heart and soul of the Poway, California Little League for many years as all three of their boys were excellent baseball players.  Mike was a great coach and Barb was the consummate League President.  When Mike wasn’t on the field he could be found at home in his “Man Cave” watching his beloved Dodgers, with his two Lhasa Apsos in his lap, and a beer in hand.

“The Oak” will be remembered for his dedication to our country, his family, and two successful careers. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.  A Memorial Service will be held for both Mike and Barb on Monday, 25 March 2024 at 1315, at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.