C RY D E R
P O I N T
Little Neck & Douglaston will honor MIA
Navy pilot at Memorial Day march
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
RPOZARYCKI@QNS.COM / @ROBBPOZ
The 91st Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade
this May will pay special tribute to a Navy pilot who was
killed during the Vietnam War and missing in action for
nearly 50 years.
Lieutenant Commander Frederick Peter Crosby will be
recognized as the parade’s honorary grand marshal. His
daughter, Deborah Crosby, and other family members
will represent him as leaders of the Little Neck Douglaston
march — regarded as the largest Memorial Day
parade in the country — on May 28.
According to parade organizers, Lieutenant Commander
Crosby served with the Light Photographic
Squadron 63 stationed on board the USS Bon Homme
Richard during the Vietnam War, flying reconnaissance
missions over North Vietnam. On June 1, 1965, Crosby’s
unarmed RF-8 plane was shot down while on a mission
over the North Vietnamese province of Thanh Hoa.
The U.S. Navy declared that he was missing in action
and presumed dead; Crosby was posthumously awarded
the Distinguished Flying Cross. It would take the Crosby
family nearly 50 years of endless research before finally
being able to find Lieutenant Commander Crosby and
bring him home.
In October of 2015, a local villager who witnessed
Crosby’s plane go down directed investigators to a pond,
where human remains were subsequently found. The investigators
also located Crosby’s wedding ring and persona
lighter. The remains were recovered, and through
DNA testing conducted with the help of his sister, Sharon,
forensic scientists determined that the remains were
Lieutenant Commander Crosby’s.
Crosby was laid to rest last Memorial Day weekend at
Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery in San Diego with
his children Deborah, Douglas, Steven and John. His
tombstone also bears the name of his wife, Mary, who
died in 2002.
“We are particularly humbled by Lieutenant Commander
Crosby’s ultimate sacrifice, by all of the fallen
and by all of those who protect us today and in the past,”
said Little Neck Douglaston Parade Co-chair Charles W.
In addition to honoring Crosby, the parade will also
honor members of the New York State Air National
Guard 106th Rescue Wing, which is based in Westhampton
Beach, Long Island. Air Force Colonel Michael W.
Bank will represent the wing, which recently lost four
members — including two active New York City firefighters
with Queens connections — in a helicopter crash in
The West Point Marching Band will be featured among
the many participating bands, and Councilman Paul Vallone
will be recognized as the parade committee’s Man of
The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will
take place, rain or shine, at 2 p.m. on May 28. Marchers
will step off from the corner of Northern Boulevard
Lieutenant Commander Frederick Peter Crosby, who
was killed during the Vietnam War, will be posthumously
honored as grand marshal of the 2018 Little
Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade.
Courtesy of the Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade
Louis Carino Year
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Visit www.lndmemorialday.org for further details.