top of page

Update: TACAMO Fallen Veteran - William "Buff" Crowell, VQ-3, VQ-4 & PMA 271

June 26, 1956 - April 3, 2021

Latest details: The obituary will probably be posted later this afternoon. There will be a reception at Brinsfield Funeral Home, Leonardtown, MD Thursday April 8 from 2:00-4:00 PM. Burial planned for a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

Happy Easter to all/—Chocko


More Tributes to Buff

TACAMO Hall of Famer - Naval careers are recognized in many tangible ways; command, promotions, advancements, awards, tours, etc.  How do I acknowledge a career like Buff’s?  He may have departed active duty in 94’, but he continued to give his heart and soul to our TACAMO community.  Buff served the mission in his various roles over the years, but I believe his greatest impact was keeping us all connected personally and to TACAMO’s mission. Think about it; 27 years of unselfishly reaching out to Shipmates.  Amazing.

It has taken about 24 hours to digest the news of Buff’s passing.  I still search for the appropriate words to honor him.  So, I’ll echo a few of our shipmates eloquent and well said words.  Just two weeks ago I walked into one of his favorite haunts in OKC and heard “Hey Mungo”.  My spirit was immediately lifted, and I laughed.  During that same dinner Buff told me he found two of those old style VQ-3 t-shirts he made and will ship them to Bubba’s kids.  Bubba passed 10 months ago.  That’s Buff… his care and concern extended beyond his Shipmates.  It went to out to their families and our TACAMO community.

Over the years I have yet to meet another Naval Officer who outwardly displayed their love and passion for the Navy like Buff.  It wasn’t just contained to the Wardroom or hands on the yoke flying.  It included the Chiefs, the POs, the sailors and our mission.  He connected us all and when I’d hang up the phone or part after dinner, Buff would leave me reflecting on the greatness of our TACAMO community and our Shipmates who made it so.  

Prayers and love to Katy, Trey & Trish.  I can’t even begin to express the loss you feel.  I know that same passion and love he had for the Navy was a thousand-fold for his family.  I heard about your lives every time Buff and I talked.

Many have already said what I know of Buff.  I whole heartily agree.  So much more to say about this warrior. I’m confident his passion will live on and inspire many more.  Godspeed Buff.  You will be missed, but not forgotten.



This is heartbreaking.  Buff has shaped our community for generations, and his legacy will continue to do so.

Sending prayers to the family, shipmates, and friends.

Trish Beckman


He was a giant among us. He brought us together, he kept us together.  He will be truly missed.  RIP, brother Buff, and our prayers for you and yours, Katie

Lew McIntyre


Oh, my gosh!  What a shock!  I can't imagine the TACAMO community without Buffalo--he provided a lot of glue to keep us together.

Mary Redshaw


Very sad to hear.  Buff was a true Ironman…



We will all miss our great friend. A  Great American Patriot, a Skillful aviator and crew dog, a TACAMO legend, a real family man and a hell of a friend. 

I loved to fly the Herc with Buff, We all loved to talk about the ol’ days with Buff and We all loved to listen to Buff talk about TACAMO. He loved our community and he loved us all. 

When My wife Kim was a Chief in the Reserves at Naval Air Facility Andrews ,Buff was Kim’s Division Officer. Kim says”best damn Division Officer she ever had”. No one knew their way around the TACAMO hangar deck and TACAMO flight deck better than Buff. Buff was that indomitable American Fighting Spirit. He had the biggest of hearts. He was very kind and thoughtful. He loved the Chiefs Mess. He loved the white hats.  He loved the Ready Room and he loved his family. 

Some of my favorite memories. 

 30 years ago when he would visit OKC and come out to the house he would bring gifts for the Baby kids. So thoughtful. 

In 2000 when he would visit he would bring gifts for our teenage kids. So thoughtful!. 

And for the last 20 years when he would visit, the kids were all grown so he brought adult beverage for us big kids. So thoughtful..( many six packs still in the garage)

And just 2 weeks ago while Kim and I were visiting the kids in Virginia, Buff stopped by our home in OKC (one last time ) and left a bottle beer coosie on the front porch along with a neck gather that was from a Restaurant named Chief. He always called Kim the Chief. 

Buff was a “master of little things count”.He never passed up an opportunity to make someone else’s day better. Whether sending out a Chiefs Birthday Email or a Congrats text on a promotion or a Catch up phone call, Buff made a living of keeping us all connected and feeling good.  He was larger than life and touched us all. 

Katie and kids you are in our thoughts and prayers. 

Love ya Buff. Miss ya Buff. 

Irish and the Chief


I can't believe this loss. Buff was all things TACAMO, all things life. He had just sent all Chief's a great birthday message on Wednesday. Mr. Navy. God Bless him. He was a great friend to this old Chief and we stayed in touch. Loved flying as his FE. All my best to Katie and his family. God Speed, Buff.

Ralph Chaffin



TCVA extends its sympathy and prayer for peace to the Buff's family and friends during this time of the passing. 


Featured Posts
Recent Posts