Mar 07, 2017 at 06:14 PM

Local Military Historians Research Results in Posthumous Legion of Valor Enrollment

By Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

Frank Robert and Adam Lewis  Frank Robert McCrary, U.S. Navy           Adam Lewis, local military historian 

Santa Barbara, Calif., March 7, 2017—  Research conducted by Adam Lewis, local historian for the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF), has resulted in the posthumous enrollment of Frank Robert McCrary into the Legion of Valor.

Lewis retired this year from his position as a PCVF board member.

“We appreciate Adam for his unwavering support of America’s active military and its veterans as evidenced by his dedication to the Foundation’s mission,” said Lt. John Blankenship, (USN, fmr), co-founder of PCVF. “We congratulate Adam for his research, which led to Frank Robert McCrary's induction to the Legion of Valor.”

Lewis has been committed to honoring and remembering local veterans through research and the creation of the shadow boxes on display in the Santa Barbara Veterans Memorial Building.

Frank Robert McCrary received the Navy Cross from the President of the United States of America for distinguished and heroic service as Commanding Officer of a U.S. Naval Aviation Detachment in Ireland, during World War I.

McCrary was born on Oct. 1, 1879 in Arkansas and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy – Class of 1901.  He became Naval Aviator #91 in 1917, then the Navy’s first lighter-than-air pilot and the first Commanding Officer of the SHENANDOAH dirigible.

In his distinguished career in US Naval Aviation McCrary was commanding officer of the aircraft carriers USS Langley (CV-1) and USS Saratoga (CV-3), and the Naval Air Stations at Pensacola and San Diego (North Island).  He retired from the Navy in 1936 with the rank of Captain and was recalled to active duty in 1940 as commander of the Alameda Naval Air Station, Calif. He died on June 10, 1952 in Alameda County, Calif.


About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in U.S. military efforts. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssen’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.”  PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit or call (805) 259-4394. 

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