Memorial Service for Mike Crum (5th Co.) Announced and Obituary Added to Memorial Page

Dear Classmates and brothers,

There will be a Memorial Service for both Mike Crum (5th Co) and his wife, Barb, on Monday, 25 March 2024 at 1315, at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.  I hope those of you in the local area will be able to attend and provide a proper farewell to them as they are reunited for eternity in heaven.  The rest of us will be there in spirit and prayer. 

Below is the obituary for Mike, written by his good friend and squadronmate, Jim Gould (’77) with input from Oak’s son, Mike Jr.  Please keep the entire Crum family in your thoughts and prayers.

Eternal Father, Strong to Save….

Semper Fidelis,


CDR Michael J. Crum, USN Ret

(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.

One reply on “Memorial Service for Mike Crum (5th Co.) Announced and Obituary Added to Memorial Page”

  1. Mike and Barb Crum Memorial Service
    • The memorial Service was held at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA on March 25, 2024
    • Mike Crum passed away in March 2024 after losing his wife Barb in January 2024, two months earlier. Both succumbed to cancer.
    • It was a large turnout for the Memorial Service, approximately 150 friends, family, community, and Naval personnel attended (Mike was still working at TACTRAGRUPAC).
    • I represented Mike’s USNA 78, 5th Company classmates and was able to speak with the family before the ceremony. Two of the three sons attended, Michael (the oldest) and Matthew (youngest). Nick was unable to attend. I provided each of the sons the 5th company condolences, printouts of our memories of “Oak” and the Plebe year story from Danny “Tex” Keulen. Matthew was particularly appreciative to read these.
    • The Memorial Service was led by Father Dan Holgreth, a family friend. Many in attendance were in tears. Barb had been cremated and was placed in the same coffin as Mike so they are now buried together.
    • A close friend, Shelly Valentine (pictured with me at the service), has set up a Go Fund Me site to assist the sons with financial issues. Shelly let me know that because Oak gave himself totally to taking care of Barb during her illness while he was suffering from cancer himself, he was unable to attend to paying bills. His life insurance and house mortgage went unpaid for months and may not be resources for the sons to offset costs of their parents’ illnesses and burial.
    • The Go Fund Me site is: Fundraiser for Michael Crum by Michelle Valentine : Mike and Barb Crum (

    Oak – Rest in Peace, from your 5th Company classmates
    Tom Rentz

Comments are closed.