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    USS Black Hawk Bell presented to Navy veteran in Trinidad, CO

    USS Black Hawk Bell presented to Navy veteran in Trinidad, CO

    Photo By Sgt. Benjamin Pryer | Lt. Cmdr. David Jeltema, a chaplain with Naval Medical Center San Diego, stands with...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Benjamin Pryer 

    8th Marine Corps District

    Lt. Cmdr. David Jeltema, a chaplain with Naval Medical Center San Diego, presented the quarterdeck bell of the USS Black Hawk (AD-9) to Herbert Crask, a Navy veteran, at his home in Trinidad, CO Aug. 9, 2016.
    Jeltema acquired the bell in January of 2015 from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Command Museum. Jeltema said he was informed that the museum no longer had a place to display the bell, so he offered to find one of the crewmembers who served on the ship.
    “I started going on the naval registry and looking up crew members, but all it shows is first name, last name and hometown,” said Jeltema. “There were about 150 names, and he (Crask) was the last name on the list.”
    Upon receiving the bell, Crask said he was overjoyed at having an heirloom from his past. Also, at 92 years old, he stated that it was nice having something in his home older than him.
    Crask served six years in the Navy, working on the USS West Virginia (BB-48), where he fought in the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
    Crask then transferred to the USS Black Hawk, where he served in China for 18 months. Upon returning back to the United States, he was immediately returned to China for another 18 months aboard the USS Prairie (AD-15).
    After he completed his service with the Navy, Crask joined the National Guard with several of his friends.
    When the Korean War began, Crask enlisted in the Navy Reserves, and was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan for two years.
    After a combined 10 years of service, Crask returned for good to his two children and wife.
    “My daughter was born when I was in Xingtao, and my son was born when I was back home,” said Crask. “The second time I came home, my kids ran behind my wife – they had no idea who I was. I had been gone so long, they had no idea they had a dad. After that, I decided I had served enough.”
    After presenting the bell, Crask brought Jeltema and his family inside his home, bringing out more photos and stories about his time in service.
    “I’ve been looking forward to today for a long time,” said Jeltema. “Every time I looked at that bell, I would think that one of these days I would find somebody. To come and actually meet and old shipmate is an absolute delight. To find someone who you can share so many common experiences with - to look back on the crew books, to hear some of the stories, and to get a sense of the history of the institution that we are a part of and to be able to meet someone who is part of that history is amazing.”



    Date Taken: 08.16.2016
    Date Posted: 08.16.2016 16:48
    Story ID: 207321
    Location: TRINIDAD, CO, US 
    Hometown: TRINIDAD, CO

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