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Memorial held for WWII vet Bill Crommett, inspiration for Honor Flight Kern County

Posted at 7:23 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 22:23:25-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A man who’s been all over — from Wisconsin to Illinois and the Philippines to Tokyo. But it’s here in Bakersfield where Bill 'Oroville' Crommett is being remembered for his service and his influence.

  • Honor Flight Kern County was founded by Lili Marsh, as a tribute to her father and all veterans in the community. Since its inception, organizers have completed 49 successful trips to our nation's capitol.
  • Crommett passed away on May 1 at the age of 98.

A man who’s been all over — from Wisconsin to Illinois and the Philippines to Tokyo. But it’s here in Bakersfield where Bill 'Oroville' Crommett is being remembered for his service and his influence.

Honor Flight Kern County was founded by Lili Marsh, as a tribute to her father and all veterans in the community. Since its inception, organizers have completed 49 successful trips to our nation's capitol.

One veteran, however, never made the trip: Marsh's father, Bill Cromment. Crommett always stated that there were others more deserving of a seat on this adventure.

“Some 3000 local veterans have had the opportunity to take the life-changing trip, and that’s quite the legacy daddy," Marsh said during her father's memorial service.

On Tuesday, community members gathered at Bakersfield National Cemetery to give him one final salute in a show of appreciation for his spirit and service.

The New York native served in the Army Air Corp in World War II, setting up communications as a radio mechanic until he returned to Long Island in 1946.

Over the next 50 years he and his family would make the journey from New York to Forida — stopping in Washington DC so he could introduce his children to the monuments and history of veterans before him.

“We had no idea, we were little kids at the time," Marsh said, amusing at the memories of her childhood trips.

While she didn’t know it at the time, Crommett's daughter would be returning to these monuments regularly, using her father as the inspiration for Honor Flight Kern County.

Crommett passed away on May 1 at the age of 98.

While he himself was never on an Honor Flight — his service and legacy helped inspire the experience so many veterans today call once in a lifetime.

This year Honor Flight Kern County will embark on a major milestone with its 50th flight in October. Marsh said her father's flag will finally be on the flight.


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