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James Crooke papers

 Collection — Container: Single Folder Collections - 2005 Box 6 (05.0149-05.0178), Folder: 05.0172 - Folder 1
Identifier: 05.0172

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of an oral history transcript of an interview with 2nd Lt. James J. Crooke, who served in World War II. Crooke served in the Army Air Corps with the 303rd Bomb Group in the European Theater (ETO).


  • 1921-1945
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1943
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/15/2005
  • Other: Date accessioned: 2020-05-22


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

James Crooke was born on April 11, 1921. Crooke was born in Pensacola Florida to James Joseph Crooke, Sr. and Claude Tresa Milstead Crooke. He graduated from Pensacola High School in 1939, and studied at the University of Florida until he was prompted to enlist following the invasion of Pearl Harbor in 1941. He went through 14 months of training at Ft. Myers, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama; Douglas, Georgia; Munroe, Louisiana, and Alexandria, Louisiana, for the Army Air Corps. He became a Second Lt. Navigator on a B-17 bomber.

Based out of Molesworth, England, Crooke then flew B-17s. He flew 30 missions with the Third Bomber Group, which flew many combat missions and took many losses. While on a bombing mission to Czechoslovakia, he was shot down over Germany and became a POW. He explains his POW experiences in which there were originally 6,000 U.S. captives, but by the time they were liberated by the Russians, the number of prisoners had increased to 10,000. He was a POW for eight months and did not get Red Cross packages because the Germans stole them. This was a violation of the Geneva Convention. He lost 25 pounds. After the war, he returned to the University of Florida and enrolled in the School of Architecture where he graduated in May 1950. He practiced architecture in Pensacola and the panhandle until retiring in the mid-1990s. He was married to his wife, Theresa, for 65 years, and had two daughters and multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren. James Crooke passed on January 7, 2013, in Pensacola, FL.


1 folders

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note


Custodial History

This collection was donated by James Crooke. The collection was acquired by the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience on December 15, 2005.

Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.


James Crooke papers
Craig Whittington
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US