Robert MacArthur Crawford

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Robert MacArthur Crawford
Robert MacArthur Crawford signed portrait.jpeg
Robert MacArthur Crawford
Robert MacArthur Crawford

(1899-07-27)July 27, 1899
DiedMarch 12, 1961(1961-03-12) (aged 61)[1]

Robert MacArthur Crawford (July 27, 1899 – March 12, 1961) is known for writing The U.S. Air Force song. He was born in Dawson City, Yukon, and spent his childhood in Fairbanks, Alaska.[1] During World War I he attempted to become a pilot in the United States Army Air Service but was dismissed when he was discovered to be underage. He attended the Case Scientific Institute in Cleveland, known today as Case Western Reserve University, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.[1][2] Crawford then enrolled in Princeton University, and graduated in 1925.[1] He later studied and taught at the Juilliard School of Music. Crawford learned how to fly an airplane in 1923.[1] He flew himself around the United States in a small plane to concerts, where he was introduced as "The Flying Baritone."[1] Liberty magazine sponsored a contest in 1938 for a musical composition that would become the official song of the U.S. Army Air Corps.[3] Out of 757 submissions, Crawford's was chosen as the winner.[3] The song was officially introduced at the Cleveland Air Races on Sept. 2, 1939, where Crawford sang its first public rendition.[4]

During World War II, Crawford flew for the Air Transport Command of the U.S. Army Air Forces.[1] In 1947, Crawford joined the University of Miami's music faculty.[1] He remained there for ten years, until he left to focus on composing.[1]



  • "Robert Crawford is Dead at 61; Wrote 'Army Air Corps' Song". The New York Times. New York City. March 13, 1961. New York Times obituary.
  • Phi Kappa Psi (1985). Grand Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity (12th ed.). White Plains, NY: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company. OCLC 12695361.
  • "History of the U.S. Air Force Song". Hill Air Force Base. U.S. Air Force. 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.

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