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John C. Crews
WWII Combat Veteran

Two Bronze Stars for Service in the European Theater under
General George Patton and General Roderick Allen.
Member of the famed "Mystery Division" of the 12th Armored Division.

Welcome!    Discover and enjoy this tribute to our father and to all those who served in the war.
You will find photographs, unique documents, battle maps, the history of Nazi Germany, and much more.

Links are in the menu above. Find contents descriptions below.


~~ In Memoriam ~~
Our beloved father, John C. Crews
passed away on August 2, 2012,
a month away from his 87th birthday.

He was not only an honored and medalled combat veteran,
but also a wonderful husband, father, and businessman.
There will not be another generation quite like his.


John C. Crews, served as a member of the 12th Armored Division, 56th A.I. Battalion, Company C, originally of General Allen's Seventh Army and later under General Patton's Third Army. They were known with personal pride, but with fear and consternation by the German enemy, as "The Hellcats."

They were also known as the "Mystery Division", since for security reasons in a successful effort to confuse the enemy, its true identity and course was kept secret for some months during the main push through Germany.

The 12th Armored Division was transferred to General Patton's Third Army to spearhead the crossing of the Rhine and eventually the Danube.
Major battles included harsh street fighting in Herrlisheim and in Munich.

At nineteen years old, John was a radio operator with this valorous unit and was responsible for saving American lives from friendly fire, as well as capturing a German officer.


After the war, my Dad wanted nothing more than to go home to a free America, raise a decent family, work at a useful and honorable profession, and try not to think too much about the horrors that he, like so many others, suffered through. He accomplished these goals and enjoyed a full and happy life.

For those who endure it, the memories of the traumatic events of war are often haunting and difficult to live with. It is important for those who come after to honor and keep alive those memories in order to give them the historical and personal weight they demand. It is essential that we as a people remember not only what happened, but the men and women themselves who were directly responsible for the victory.

Most of our veterans from World War II have passed now and their stories and insights are being lost. This site is but one story of thousands from that time, and we hope it will contribute to the collective memory of our nation when it thinks back to the biggest event of the Twentieth Century.

"My Dad was there - on the front line. Scared, but competent. Exhausted and freezing, but determined to do the job and survive. He's always been a hero to me. Now, I would like for others to see his story and acknowledge him as well." 
      – David P. Crews

Site Contents Descriptions

• "My Memories" – John's personal account of his war experiences.

• Official Map of the 12th Armored Division Activities in the European Theater.

• "Speed Is The Password" – A booklet describing all the events of the 12th AD.

• "Field Reports" – Activities of Company C during the war, typewritten by John.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• Personal photographs – A gallery of photos taken by John Crews in
   England, France, and Germany during the war.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• The harrowing stories of John's actions that led to the awarding of
   two Bronze Star medals.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• A fascinating and educational look at the rise of Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler.

• Photographs from Nazi propaganda books personally brought back

   from Germany by John after the fighting.

Note! These pages contain

     Link in menus or click HERE

• Rationing and the crucial support of the folks back home.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• The interesting story of John's troop ship voyage back home, and the
   dramatic events that brought the war to a final halt.

• Rare documents from on board the troop ship heralding the Japanese surrender.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• A capsule history of John's life since the war.

• See John march in the 12th A. D. Museum's Dedication Parade!

• Photos of John at the WWII National Memorial in Washington, D.C.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• A page honoring those who did not return.

     Link in menus or click HERE

• Sites and information related to the 12th A.D Museum, and other sites concerning
   World War II and those who fought it.

     Link in menus or click HERE

This site was originally published for John's 75th birthday in September, 2000.
It was revised and updated in 2011 and again in this responsive form in 2020.
© Copyright 2020 David P. Crews–CrewsCreative, Austin, Texas  All rights reserved.    –––      Contact:  david@crewscreative.com
Contact us for information about the use of photos or content from this site.

Photo credits:  Unless otherwise indicated, all photos on this site
are from the private collection of John C. Crews.

Certain photos are reproduced courtesy of the Franklin Roosevelt Library.
Official Army photos by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. are reproduced
from the original booklets and materials.

The photo of the "Marine Devil" ship is courtesy of Bruce T. Doll, www.imagesofvision.com.

All graphics, photographs, and text on this site are ©2020, David P. Crews, unless otherwise noted.

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