Quentin C. Crommelin (1918 - 1997)
Captain Quentin C. Crommelin, the youngest of the five brothers, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1941. Before receiving his flight school orders he survived two torpedo attacks from Japanese submarines while aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3).
In a 1988 oral history interview he said, “That was a very happy, pleasant time, that year before the war. I was out there when the war broke out. We were just going into the port at San Diego when we got the news that the war had started. We really didn't believe it. Then we sailed to Honolulu--to Pearl Harbor--and got there a few days after the attack. It was really something. I know many people have told you about it, probably a lot of them were there at the time. Coming into the port we passed by the ARIZONA which was awash, and it was one of the most moving experiences I ever had. Her deck was sticking above water on the side of the channel going into Pearl there. We gave passing honors: On the ships everybody came to attention, sound attention, and hand-saluted and so forth. The survivors on deck of the ARIZONA also gave us passing honors. It was as quiet as could be. Seeing that ship sitting on the bottom with just its few survivors standing and saluting us as we went by, somehow got to me. It was a shambles when we got into the port. There was oil about two inches thick on the water. There was an occasional body that people in small boats would pick up and bring alongside. At night we would take a bunch of men and rifles and go out and man the beach. There would be a sailor about every hundred yards with an old World War I rifle to repel invasion…”
After receiving his wings, Quentin flew the Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The war ended as his squadron of fighter-bombers embarked on the aircraft carrier USS Antietam (CV-36). He was promoted to Captain in 1958.
Commander of the USS Lexington
After the war he enjoyed a long career in the Navy commanding Air Group 17 and the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-16).
USS Lexington underway in the 1960's.
After leaving the Navy in 1973 he retired to his family plantation outside Wetumpka, Alabama. He died April 30, 1997, aged 78. He was survived by his wife, Priscilla; a daughter, Priscilla Ball of Montgomery; and two grandchildren.