Henry James (Jim) Alexander Crowe

This interesting story is about the life and times of a descendant of Michael George Crowe and Letitia Stiles written by their 3 times great granddaughter Maureen in Canada.  Thanks for sharing it with us, Maureen.

More on the story of that family line is in the article titled ‘Here and there’.

Henry James (Jim) Alexander Crowe, my father, enlisted into the RAF underage in March 1937 aged 16 ½.

He was born and brought up on a British settlement in Calcutta. His mother, Florence Summerfield was the daughter of a British Civil Servant and married Bradford Alexander Hill Crowe on August 4th, 1919 at 2 p.m.  He attended St. George School along with his two brothers, Sydney and Terrance.

His interest as a youngster was always crystal radios which turned out to be his actual career.  While in the RAF he took as many courses that he could to do with radio engineering, design of systems and making them work in various situations. He also had an interest in planes and their flying equipment.

During WWII he flew Lancaster’s and was also their chief engineer on occasion on various bombing runs.  At the end of the war, 1946 and 1948, his team and a U.S. team went to Hiroshima and Hong Kong to hook up radio communications and taking care of various military interests.

During his 25+ years in the RAF he and we as a family travelled to various parts of Asia, Malta, Calcutta, Burma, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore to name a few.  Upon returning back to England we settled in Norfolk while Dad finished his last few years of service.  His final job with the RAF was leading the engineering team in designing the guidance system for the Thor rocket which was installed in conjunction with USAF personnel but carried the RAF circle on the outside of the rocket.  It went off from Cape Canaveral. On the old site there is a plaque and pictures of the team and his name is on it.

After he was demobbed, we moved to Essex for 18 months where he worked for Marconi doing design engineering.  In 1965 we emigrated to Manitoba, Canada being sponsored by my mother’s sister and her husband.

Once again, he moved around once his name got known for his designs of different systems, radio and laser to name a couple.  He moved to Edmonton, Alberta and then Surrey, British Columbia.  He travelled B.C. and up north to Stewart, Alaska designing radio systems for schools, governments and various native Indian communities.  His last job was designing the laser and sound systems for a huge white ball on the sea front in Vancouver, it is still there today with his name on a plaque.  He finally retired in 1991 to Chilliwack, B.C. to be near my sponsoring aunt and uncle.

He passed away on March 14, 1993 to prostrate cancer and a heart attack.

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