Celebrating the life of Francis Cregg Crosby
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Colonel Francis “Cregg” Crosby, passed away at age 79 on February 28, 2017 in Jupiter, Florida after a brief illness.
He leaves his wife of 57 years Lucille (Wasicko) Crosby, his sons Cregg and James, sister Mary Cay and two grandsons Connor and Ryan along with several nephews and nieces, cousins and numerous close friends.
Cregg was born in Syracuse, New York on January 24, 1938, son of Francis Edward Crosby and Mary W. Cregg.
Cregg graduated High School from the Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York in June 1956 where he ran track, played varsity basketball and at his senior graduation received the American Legion Citizenship Award.
He married his High School Sweetheart Lucille Wasicko in July 1959.
He graduated from Syracuse University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and became a commissioned officer in the USAF with a four year commitment.
He attended Air Force navigational training in Waco, Texas, and advanced navigational bombardier training in California. Upon graduation he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command where he became a crew member and radar navigator in the Boeing B-52. Crew assignments began at Walker AFB, Roswell, New Mexico and Dyess AFB, Abilene, Texas. While at Walker AFB he attended Squadron Officers School in Montgomery Alabama.
While stationed in Abilene he served as an instructor navigator in the standardization section. During this period he spent numerous months overseas at bases in Thailand, Guam and Okinawa, flying over 120 Arc Light missions in South East Asia.
From Dec 1970 to June 1973 he was assigned to Eight Air Force, Anderson AFB Guam, serving as a B-52 mission planner and bombardier navigator. He played a crucial role in the planning of Operation Linebacker II bombing raids in Hanoi, which led to the release of 591 American POWS.
In 1974 he attended Command and Staff College in Montgomery Alabama and also attended Auburn University where he earned his Masters Degree in Political Science.
Upon graduation he was assigned to U-Tapao Thailand, (1974-1975) then to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Headquarters at Offutt AFB, Bellevue Nebraska as Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans, responsible for the development of advanced offensive avionics until 1980.
In February 1980 he served as Commander, Test and Evaluation Squadron at the Boeing Wichita facility. His organization accomplished the full scale development and flight testing of the initial Offensive Avionics/Cruise Missile equipped B-52G. He was then promoted to full Colonel and sent to attend the Naval War College at Newport Rhode Island 1982 – 1983.
Colonel Crosby was then assigned to Headquarters USAF, Pentagon Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development and Acquisition, first as Chief, Special Support Group then as Chief of the Congressional Activities Division.
In November 1985 he was assigned to SAC Headquarters Omaha, Nebraska, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans, as the Director of Programs until March 1988.
His final Air Force assignment was as Chief Plans Analysis and Simulation Division for USCINCLANT (Navy) in Norfolk Virginia 1988 - 1990.
After Air Force retirement in January 1990, he went to work for Westinghouse/Norden Systems, now United Technologies in Dallas, Texas as a sales director 1990 -1996 where he worked until full retirement at age 58.
Throughout his life he was active in sports and world travel with his family. He was a dedicated family man who pursued with enthusiasm a lifetime passion for physical fitness including baseball, basketball, racketball, paddleball, tennis, skiing, golf, swimming and boating.
He was a remarkable husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be missed by all who knew him.
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