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Flags to fly at half-staff to honor Buffalo Coast Guard Lieutenant

Remains will return home Friday
Posted at 2:12 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 14:12:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Andrew Cuomo directed flags to be flown at half-staff Saturday to honor a U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant.

Thomas J.E. Crotty of Buffalo was reported MIA and later died at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines in July 1942.

Lieutenant Crotty's body will be repatriated to the United States and interred at Holy Cross Cemetery November 2.

Lieutenant Crotty played an important role the in the destroying of supplies and facilities in World War II. His actions prevented the supplies from falling into enemy hands when the U.S. Navy abandoned its main Naval Base in the Philippines. He was the only Coast Guardsman taken prisoner during World War II. At 30-years-old, Crotty was killed in action and buried in a mass grave with fellow prisoners.

Crotty's remains were identified in September, 2019. They will be sent home, arriving at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Friday.