Naval officer named to Cornell Wall of Fame

Cmdr. Crawford has earned several awards

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Jonathan A. Crawford, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, will be the newest name entered on the Cornell School District Wall of Fame.

Cmdr. Crawford, 35, a member of the Cornell High School Class of 1995, is the son of Albert and Eileen Crawford of Coraopolis. The couple will stand in for their son Wednesday during the induction ceremony.

The elder Mr. Crawford, a Navy veteran, plans to wear his dress uniform "if it fits."

Since November, Cmdr. Crawford has been at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., working toward a master of arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. With him in Newport are his wife, Sarah, and their sons, Noah, 5, and Wesley, 3.

The Wall of Fame was started in 2007 to honor outstanding Cornell graduates from Coraopolis and Neville Island.

The major goal "is to have our current students aspire to the greatness that these people have achieved," Cornell superintendent Donna Belas said.

Cmdr. Crawford earned his commission in the Navy in May 2000, after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in systems engineering. In 2001, he was designated a Naval flight officer.

His duties include "training people to land on aircraft carriers," according to the commander's father, who added that his son has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The commander has flown more than 2,000 hours and accumulated more than 400 landings on eight aircraft carriers, says the resume provided by the Navy. Decorations include the Strike/Flight Air Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards) and Navy Achievement Medal (four awards).

Because of the Air Medal, officials from Soldier & Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland have called, the elder Mr. Crawford said.

That medal is awarded for "meritorious achievement" while participating in flight.

"He is quite the young man, and that kid was headed for the Navy from the time he was born," his proud father said.

He had the example of his father, who served 38 years in the Navy. The elder Mr. Crawford enlisted at age 17 on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and, retired as a master chief.

When the commander was 4 months old, his parents took a picture of him wearing pajamas that said, "Go Navy!" The picture ended up on the cover of the Navy Times. He made a second appearance on that cover when he was at the Naval Academy.

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Linda Wilson Fuoco: lfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-722-0087.


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