LEO O. CRANE, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Leo Crane '31

Date of birth: November 20, 1907

Date of death: March 30, 1938

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1931 Lucky Bag:

1931 Crane LB.jpg

Leo O. Crane

Nashville, Tennessee

"Leo" "Ichie"

Mister Crane, what do girls call you?"

"Ichabod, sir," was the prompt and ready answer, and thus we have the evolution of the present day "Ichie." Unlike his predecessor in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "Ichie" has not only surrendered himself to the wiles and smiles of the ladies, but is very successful in his campaigns.

"Ichie" is an ardent contender that chasing the elusive "theta" is poor sport. Nevertheless, his mental capabilities have gained him a standing that will make him an admiral long before the majority of his classmates. To be more outspoken, he is a savoir that takes exams as a matter of course and caulks the first hour, third period, in the face of an Ordnance recitation. In the silence of a study hour, the conquering "cluck" of the genius in him may be heard as he solves those products of the devil's mind more commonly known as math probs.

Leo is a man of strong character, possessing ideals of the highest type.

Boxing 1 Football, Block "N 1 Wrestling, "NA" Lacrosse, "NA" 2 P. O.

1931 Crane LB.jpg

Leo O. Crane

Nashville, Tennessee

"Leo" "Ichie"

Mister Crane, what do girls call you?"

"Ichabod, sir," was the prompt and ready answer, and thus we have the evolution of the present day "Ichie." Unlike his predecessor in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "Ichie" has not only surrendered himself to the wiles and smiles of the ladies, but is very successful in his campaigns.

"Ichie" is an ardent contender that chasing the elusive "theta" is poor sport. Nevertheless, his mental capabilities have gained him a standing that will make him an admiral long before the majority of his classmates. To be more outspoken, he is a savoir that takes exams as a matter of course and caulks the first hour, third period, in the face of an Ordnance recitation. In the silence of a study hour, the conquering "cluck" of the genius in him may be heard as he solves those products of the devil's mind more commonly known as math probs.

Leo is a man of strong character, possessing ideals of the highest type.

Boxing 1 Football, Block "N 1 Wrestling, "NA" Lacrosse, "NA" 2 P. O.

Loss

Leo was lost on March 30, 1938 when the PBY Catalina he was piloting crashed just offshore of Ka'ena Point on the northwestern portion of Oahu, Hawaii. Four others were killed; two crewmen survived. They were part of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Leo received his elementary education at Summertown and graduated from Lawrence County high school at Lawrenceburg. He then attended Georgia Tech for one year and worked the following year at Old Hickory in Nashville.

He was appointed to the Naval Academy by the president on recommendation of Senator L. D. Tyson of Tennessee.

From Find A Grave:

Leo's first duty after graduation was on the USS Saratoga. In 1933 he went for flying school in Pensacola reviving his wings in 1934. Then going to VO Squadron duty for two years then a year in VF-5 on the USS Lexington. 1n 1937 he shifted to Patrol Squadron four fleet air base, Pearl Harbor. During the annual fleet exercises in the spring of 1938 he was flying a search patrol when his plane crashed in the heavy overcast off Kaena Point Oahu Hawaii on March 30, 1938. He was married to Frances O'Neil the sister of his class mate Eddie O'Neil.

From Wikipedia:

30 March: PBY-1 Catalina, BuNo 0142, of VP-4, crashes and sinks ~200 yards offshore at Kaena Point at ~0405 hrs., while en route to scouting station, operating with Fleet Problem #19. Crash believed to be due to low visibility and darkness. Killed are Lt. (jg) Leo O. Crane, USN, pilot; Aviation Cadet William Howard Lear, USNR; Vernon August Luciana, R.M. 2c, USN; Garland Harold O'Neal, A.C.M.M., USN; and Bluitt Iven Windham, A.O.M. 1c, USN. Injured are Herbert Fred Bartz, A.M.M. 1c, USN; and George Joseph Nilles, R.M. 3c, USN. On 31 March, small seaplane tender USS Avocet salvages the wreckage and recovers the body of a radioman.

Photographs

Football Career

From the Evening Start (Washington, D.C.) on March 31, 1938:

Lt. Crane was an end on the Navy varsity. football team in 1928 and 1929, winning his major letter in 1928. An injured knee curtailed his play during 1929 and in 1930 he was appointed one of the keepers of the goat, the Navy mascot.

Lt. Harry J. (Hank) Hardwick, head football coach at the academy, who was end coach while Crane was midshipman, said he was one of the best ends he had handled.

Family

From researcher Kathy Franz: "His father served in the Spanish-American War and was a general merchant before serving in WWI. He was killed in France in 1918 as a 1st Lieutenant. Leo's mother was Ethel, his brothers were John and Joseph, and his sisters were Mildred and Elizabeth."

Leo was also survived by his son, LCDR Mark Crane (USNA '63) and daughter, Patricia, who married CDR Gary Nuss (USNA '57). Mark's three daughters all married Naval Academy graduates, and one of his great-grandsons, Eric Kousky, is a member of the class of 2020.

Leo's wife, Frances, had ten sisters and brothers; all of them were married to or themselves officers in the Navy or Marine Corps:

  • Helen m (Rank unknown) William Allen '26
  • Catherine m Lcdr Joseph O'Brian '31
  • Doth m Capt George Carter, Navy Pilot, non Academy, one son Jimmie Carter USNA '64 or '65
  • RADM Edward O'Neil '31, 3 sons, Brian '57, Ed, John ,classes unknown USNA
  • Claire m Cdr Ray Vogel '36, KIA Korea, sons Bill '62, Fred '65, Tim USMA '65(Navy Pilot)
  • Claire m Radm Francis Foley'32
  • Jerry m Capt Robert Carter '38
  • Mary Lee m Lt Hank Shaub Navy Pilot, Non USNA, but chief Scientist at Navy R&D Annapolis
  • Major USMC, Bud O'Neil USNA ? 2/1/2 years non grad
  • Francis m Leo Crane '31, KIA on recon mission looking for Japanese invasion in '38
    • Son Lcdr Mark Crane '63, Instructor USNA and later Financial Head USNA
      • 3 daughters m USNA grads, Jenny m CDR Todd Kousky '89, Cristina, Anne, Classes unknown
        • 1 Grandson Eric Kousky, USNA '2020
    • Daughter Patsy m Cdr Gary Nuss '57
  • Francis m Radm John Sweeney '26, son Johnnny died on USS Scorpion on Cold War Patrol

Memorial Hall Error

Leo is listed in Memorial Hall as a LTjg. From The Tennessean on April 3, 1938:

Three days after he died in a plane crash near Hawaii, the promotion of Leo Crane of Nashville from junior lieutenant to lieutenant in the U. S. Navy came through last night.

Crane's appointment was announced by the Navy Department along with 465 other promotions to lieutenant and lieutenant commander which were approved Saturday by President Roosevelt.

Crane's mother is Mrs. Ethel Crane of 1409 Ordway Place.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1931
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Thomas Fisher '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Robert Symes '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
October 1931
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LCDR Oscar Erickson '16 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B)
LT Edwin Conway '20 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Robert Symes '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
January 1932
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Edwin Conway '20 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Robert Symes '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
April 1932
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Edwin Conway '20 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Robert Symes '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS Mathias Wyatt '29 (Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Force)
ENS William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
October 1932
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS James Kyes '30 (Aircraft Squadrons)
January 1933
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Jack Richardson '19 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LTjg Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS James Kyes '30 (Aircraft Squadrons)
April 1933
Ensign, USS Saratoga


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Jack Richardson '19 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B)
LTjg William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
LTjg Mathias Wyatt '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B)
LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B)
ENS Mack Vorhees '30 (Aircraft Squadrons)
ENS James Kyes '30 (Aircraft Squadrons)
July 1934
Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
ENS Lion Miles '31 (Cruiser Division 5)
ENS Augustus Alston, Jr. '31 (Cruiser Division 5)
October 1934
Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
LTjg Lion Miles '31 (Cruiser Division 5)
January 1935
Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
LTjg Lion Miles '31 (Cruiser Division 5)
April 1935
Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (Cruiser Division 5)
LTjg Lion Miles '31 (Cruiser Division 5)
October 1935
Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (Cruiser Division 5)
ENS Joseph Lacombe '33 (USS Chicago)
January 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (Cruiser Division 5)
ENS Joseph Lacombe '33 (USS Chicago)
April 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago:
LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (Cruiser Division 5)
ENS Joseph Lacombe '33 (USS Chicago)
July 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B, USS Ranger


Others at or embarked at USS Ranger:
LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger)
LTjg Ralph Smith '26 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B)
LTjg James McRoberts '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B)
LTjg Donald Lovelace '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Lorenz Forbes '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 3B)
LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LTjg Albert Gray '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
ENS Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger)
ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Ranger)
ENS John Daub, Jr. '36 (USS Ranger)
January 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B, USS Ranger


Others at or embarked at USS Ranger:
LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger)
LT Ralph Smith '26 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LT Seymour Johnson '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B)
LTjg Donald Lovelace '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Lorenz Forbes '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 3B)
LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LTjg Albert Gray '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger)
ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Ranger)
ENS John Daub, Jr. '36 (USS Ranger)
April 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B, USS Ranger


Others at or embarked at USS Ranger:
LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger)
LT Ralph Smith '26 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LT Seymour Johnson '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B)
LTjg Donald Lovelace '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Albert Gray '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B)
LTjg Archibald Greenlee '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B)
LTjg Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger)
ENS William Hulson '36 (USS Ranger)
ENS John Daub, Jr. '36 (USS Ranger)
September 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

January 1938
Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii


Class of 1931

Leo is one of 52 members of the Class of 1931 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.