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Ephraim W. Crews, Jr.
"Eph"

Company K-1

5 Feb 1939 - 14 Jun 1978

Place of Death: Ft. Sam Houston, TX

Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Remembrances:

Class Memorial Pages\K-1 Eph Crews.pdf

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

No.23501 • 5 Feb 1939 - 14 Jun 1978 • Died in Ft. Sam Houston, TX Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Ephraim Whitworth Crews, Jr., came from a small town in southern Virginia. His family, in addition to his father and mother Cora, included two older children, Edward and Mary Ellen, from his mother's previous marriage. Eph was one of 17 graduates from Bluestone High School's Class of 1956. He was class secretary during his sophomore and junior years and vice president his senior year. One of his best friends in high school, Emory Waldrep, recalled Eph as a fun-loving individual admired by all. He loved sports and was extremely athletic. His yearbook notes his participation in football and baseball, and being co-captain of his basketball team. His interests also included hunting and fishing. As Emory remembered, Eph had that rare trait of being able to communicate with anyone on any level - a trait that would serve him well in his future career.

Following graduation, Eph left Boydton to attend Old Dominion University. During that time, he resided in Portsmouth with his stepsister Mary Ellen and her husband Ovid Keene, who was instrumental in creating Eph's interest in West Point. Thus Eph joined the 711 new cadets who arrived at the Academy on 2 Jul 1957 to become the Class of 1961. After having the opportunity to meet the infamous Man in the Red Sash, CDT Adam Benjamin '58, and drop and pick up his bag several times, Eph was hustled through the hectic routine of double timing around the barracks area to draw uniforms and equipment. It wasn't a day, but a daze - an experience one can never forget but can't actually remember either. For Beast Barracks, he was assigned to 5th New Cadet Company and gradually began to meet some of his classmates with whom he would live for the remaining four years in Company K-1. His company assignment also gave him the opportunity to become reacquainted with the Man in the Red Sash, now CDT 1SG Adam Benjamin. Perhaps his continuing meetings with 1SG Benjamin were an omen. When 1961's First Class Year rolled around, Eph became K-1's First Sergeant, following in Benjamin's footsteps. Applying the personality and athletic traits Emory Waldrep recalled about him, Eph got along well with his classmates, the upper class, the academic departments, and even the Tactical Department. He did well in all areas.

As many of us recall, 7 Jun 1961 and graduation from West Point rolled around surprisingly fast, and Eph became 2LT Ephraim W Crews, Jr., Infantry. A K-1 classmate who attended Airborne training with Eph recalled that he was the top man in their jump class. While a Cadet, Eph met Ann Hervey from Richmond, VA, having been introduced by her cousin, a high school classmate of his. They began a lasting romance with Ann visiting West Point on occasion. Eph and Ann were married in Richmond at Grace Covenant Chapel on 3 Feb 1962. Following graduation, Eph went through the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Airborne before his first assignment at Ft. Bragg, NC. While there, their first child, a daughter Patricia J. Crews, was born. She would be followed by a brother, David W Crews, who was born during a tour in the Panama Canal Zone. Eph carried a great love for West Point with him when he graduated. His children recall how well he had learned his Plebe knowledge as dinner time entertainment was quizzing their father on all the "trivia" about West Point, e.g., the number of lights in Cullum Hall, gallons of water in Lusk Reservoir and other Bugle Notes items. His daughter Patricia recalled that he still had his copy of his Bugle Notes, and he recalled the answers to all the questions that they could throw at him. David's bedspread was Eph's gray cadet blanket. Inspired by his grandfather, Patricia's youngest son says he's going to go to West Point, following in Eph's footsteps.

After Ft. Bragg, Eph, Ann and daughter moved to Honduras and then headed for the Canal Zone and the U.S. Army South Headquarters at Ft. Clayton. In 1967, Eph began his first of two tours in Viet Nam. He also served a tour in the Pentagon. For his service during those tours, he was awarded two Bronze Stars and an Army Commendation Medal. He was selected to attend the Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS in 1975 and earned a Master's Degree in Computer Science from Kansas State University while there. In 1976, Eph decided on a career change and switched his branch to the Adjutant General Corps. In his new career role, he, Ann and the family moved to Ft. Hood, TX, in December 1976, where he was assigned as the Adjutant of the U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command's Combined Arms Test Activity.

As they had in previous years, Eph and family enjoyed life together at Ft. Hood. There was no indication in their lives of the tragedy that lay ahead just another year down the road. In November 1977, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Eph and Ann were in a serious automobile accident in which their car caught fire. Ann was killed, and Eph was seriously burned while trying to save her. Eph was evacuated to Ft. Sam Houston for treatment, but he died on 14 Jun 1978, thus ending the life of a loving father, a respected soldier, and classmate far before its time. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

On behalf of Eph and Ann's two children, Patricia and David, who are now both married with their own children; Eph's West Point classmates from K-1; his high school classmate Emory Waldrep; his cousin Dale Crews; and other relatives whose contributions made this article possible, we dedicate this memorial to LTC Ephraim W. and Ann Crews, Class of 1961.

 TAPS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008