Edwin H. Crabtree (#15100263)

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Louisville, Kentucky
November 28, 1910
Private First Class

83rd Infantry
Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, ...

Edwin Harvey Crabtree was born in 1910 in Kentucky to the late Millard Fillmore Crabtree and Nancy Parsons (both parents were deceased before 1940). Harvey Crabtree's ancestors came to America in the mid-1600s with a land grant from the King of England, Charles II, and settled in the state of Maryland. After the American Revolution, they moved to frontier lands on the far western edge of the state of Virginia. They became pioneers and indian-fighters, and one of them, Harvey's great grandfather, was a well-known companion of the famous American frontiersman Daniel Boone.

There were six children, three boys and three girls: Philip, Mary Cordelia "Cordie", Winnifred who went by "Minnie", Eva, Milton, and Edwin Harvey. When Philip joined the army and went to World War 1 both Milton and Harvey were committed to an orphanage by their sisters Cordie and Eva. They stayed there until Philip returned home after the war. Milton told me that he and Harvey hated that orphanage, and that seeing their brother Philip--tall, handsome, and still dressed in his army uniform--coming to get them out of there "was the best thing they had ever seen." After their parents died, Philip moved the entire family to Indianapolis. Philip married and built the house on Goodlet Avenue for him and his wife. He also built the house next door for Cordie.


Later Harvey lived with his sister Minnie Kluck in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana until he joined the army on March 10, 1942 as a volunteer. Since Pfc. Crabtree was with the 83rd Infantry Division he most likely had his training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana starting in 1942. He can also be found in early C company records which supports the assumption he was one of their original members. Pfc. Crabtree posthumously received a Bronze Star for Heroic Achievement for saving the life of one of his company's scouts. When a member of his squad was hit Harvey crawled forward under fire to apply first aid.
Pfc. Edwin H. Crabtree was Killed in Action by mortar fire on January 20, 1945 during the C-Company, 329th attack on Bovigny. His IDPF as well mentions shrapnel wounds as Harvey's cause of death. Fellow C-Company veteran William Spriggs remembered seeing Harvey shortly before he was killed and recalled the heavy artillery they suffered during that time period.

V-Mail letter from Edwin Crabtree to his brother Philip.


Many thanks to Dale Crabtree for sharing this letter. A transcription: 

Pvt. Edwin Crabtree
Co. C 329th (INF.) APO 83
c/o Postmaster N.Y., N.Y.
July 23, 44

Mr. Philip Crabtree
1840 N Goodlet Ave
U.S.A. Indiana

Dear Brother, 
Right now I just got a chance to drop you a few lines to let  you know I’m somewhere in France and I’m feeling fine  and so so far I got hit on the chin with a piece of steel. [wounded by shrapnel? ] So I recieved [sic] the purple heart from it witch [sic] I’m sending home to you until I get back. How is every body back home. I sure hope there [sic] all feeling fine. Here is my address on the top of this letter so tell every  body to write as it is a great thing to recieve [sic] mail there. This is all  for now. Let me know if you recieved [sic] any bonds from me. 

Philip F. Crabtree recieved the Bronze Star Medal
awarded to his brother Pfc. Edwin H. Crabtree, KIA January 20, 1945


www.ancestry.com (with thanks to John Bifano)
After Action Report 329th Infantry Regiment
"Buckshot" Unit History book of the 329th Infantry Regiment by 1st. Lt. Daniel P. O'Connor
Dale Crabtree, grandson of Philip Crabtree
Newspaper "The Indianapolis News"