Navy Veteran Mary Jane Wilcox Crumpler is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Mary Jane Wilcox Crumpler, who served during the Korean War at Philadelphia Naval Hospital.

Mary Jane Wilcox Crumpler was born in Iowa. Crumpler served in the Navy Nurse Corps from 1952 to 1955, most notably during the Korean War. She was commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she cared for wounded Marines. By the end of her service, Crumpler had achieved the rank of lieutenant. Crumpler met her future husband, an Air Force pilot named Carl, in Philadelphia in 1953.

After her service with the Navy Nurse Corps, Crumpler moved around wherever her husband served, including Okinawa, Michigan, New York, Iran, and Florida.

Crumpler’s husband’s plane was shot down July 5, 1968, during the Vietnam War. He became a prisoner of war.

As the wife of a POW, Crumpler became active during and after the Vietnam War raising awareness of the situation of prisoners of war and missing in action through speeches and other public events. She joined the National League of Families, participating in local speaking engagements, letter writing campaigns, and the bracelet campaign for POWs and MIA service members.

Crumpler reunited with her husband in Montgomery, Alabama in 1973 at Maxwell Air Force Base. She met periodically with other POW families over the years.

We honor her service.

Watch an interview with Carl Crumpler:

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Mackenzie Knight

Editor: Kelly Dooley

Fact checker: Ariel Coronado

Graphic artist: Michelle Zischke

Share this story

Published on Jan. 7, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 136

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network January 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    We honor the service of Mary Jane Wilcox Crumpler.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • John Thurman served in the Marine Corps during World War II, fought on Iwo Jima and saw the famous flag raising on Mount Suribachi.

  • Edward Carter Jr. was one of the few African Americans to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Spiros “Steve” Pisanos, a Greek national who flew for the British Royal Air Force as an American pilot during World War II.