LTC Bruce Crandall (Ret.) received his wings in the first aviator class at Camp Rucker, Ala., in 1955. He participated in mapping operations from Africa to the Arctic and in Central and South America, where he was director of the first project using military satellites for terrestrial mapping. He has been a fixed and rotary wing test pilot and helped to develop and test the airmobile concept and doctrine he so effectively helped implement in Vietnam.
Crandall served in the Dominican Republic and two tours in Vietnam. His 750 combat operations in Southeast Asia included the famed Battle of the Ia Drang Valley, during which he saved more than 70 wounded soldiers and provided ammo critical to the survival of the U.S. ground unit. In 1966, Crandall flew two more night rescue missions which evacuated 12 wounded from a unit in heavy contact with the enemy. He received the 1966 Aviation and Space Writers Helicopter Heroism Award for this daring rescue.
In addition to his many military awards for gallantry and service, Crandall was the seventh Army inductee in the "Gathering of Eagles," a U.S. Air Force organization honoring contributors to aviation, and he received the Silver DeFleury Medallion for his contributions in engineering and aviation.