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Crews photo located for Vietnam project

By Kay S. Pedrotti U.S. Air Force Sgt. Arthur Blake Crews of Barnesville never had a chance to serve in Vietnam combat ‘“ he died Sept. 24, 1968, on the way to southeast Asia. According to his sister-in-law Susie Crews of Barnesville, the young man was on a transport aircraft when the plane was forced to make an emergency landing on a Pacific island and caught fire. ’The fire jumped rows of seats,’ Mrs. Crews said. ‘Some of the troops survived but nine were killed including Arthur. Their names were added late to the Memorial Wall through the efforts of one of the mothers who was from south Georgia.’ Arthur was the brother of her late husband Bennett Quinton ‘Pete’ Crews. Their parents were Bennett Franklin and Nellie Mae Crews; they were a very close family, Susie said. Somehow through the years, Arthur was tagged with the nickname ‘Goat’ until the first time he came home on leave from service. ’He said, ‘˜don’t call me Goat anymore,’ so I didn’t. I still have a hard time not thinking of him by that name and saying it now,’ she said. Arthur was a 1964 graduate of Gordon Military, she said, and joined the Air Force shortly after graduation. Arthur was quiet and stayed to himself, she said, but enjoyed playing with his nephew Cal Crews who was no more than 4 years old at the time. Arthur and Pete were constant companions growing up but had the usual sibling tussles, one of which resulted in Arthur giving Pete a scar above one eye, Susie said. ’When they got word he was killed Pete was at work but he was told to come home, he was needed. It took a month for his body to come back. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery with the 21-gun salute and all the military honors,’ she said. Some personal effects including a billfold and a suitcase came back to the Crews family. Susie still has one of his Air Force jackets. She said, ‘It’s still hanging there. We never got rid of it. I don’t guess we ever will.’

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