World War II Veteran
US Army Signal Corp Staff Sgt.
Fifth Army, 63 rd Signal Battalion
Crawford Daniel Ayers was born in Athens, GA on March 12, 2015. His family moved to Florida in 1925. He had a brother in the National Guard during the war. His brother took part in the Normandy Invasion on D-Day.
Crawford earned the rank of Staff Sgt. in the U.S. Fifth Army, 63rd Signal Battalion during World War II. He earned six bronze battle stars for his service during the war. He entered the Army on April 23, 1941, and was mustered out on September 4, 1945, with an Honorable Discharge. His training took place at Ft. Monmouth, NJ, and Camp Claiborne, LA. He took part in the Carolina Maneuvers in the fall of 1941. In January 1942 he boarded the Chateau Thierry and embarked for Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. The 63rd continued their training in Ireland, England, and Scotland until November 1942 when they invaded North Africa as part of Operation Torch. From there, his service continued through North Africa, the invasion of Italy, the march to the PO Valley in Northern Italy. He was there when the war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945.
During the war, he witnessed the liberation of Rome, the bombing of Monte Cassino, and many other historic events as the Fifth Army marched from the invasion at Salerno to the northern part of Italy when the Germans surrendered and the European war ended. His interview is personal, informative about the war from a soldier’s point of view, and at times very humorous. He tells a very funny story about Gen. Eisenhower on a horseback ride with his “girlfriend” while they were in North Africa. The interview gives real insight into the life of a US Army soldier during the war in Europe. It also includes a good bit of personal information about him and his time before and after the war. The interview took place in his home on October 11, 2008.