At Flag Day ceremony, O'Mara pays tribute to Steuben County native, Painted Post Mayor and WWII veteran

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 14, 2013


Painted Post, N.Y., June 14—To coincide with this year’s celebration of Flag Day across the state and nation, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today held a ceremony at the Painted Post Village Hall to formally induct Steuben County native, Painted Post Mayor and World War II combat veteran Roswell L. “Roz” Crozier, Jr. into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. 

"Mayor Crozier stands tall for the love of country, community, family and service that our Veterans’ Hall of Fame is meant to honor and celebrate,” said O’Mara.  “It’s a great privilege to recognize Mayor Crozier’s military and civilian service, and to say thank you for all that he’s done and continues to do for his community, his state and his nation.  It’s an especially meaningful and fitting tribute, as we approach this Father’s Day, that the Mayor’s nomination was put forth by his son, Ken.  There can be no greater testament to the quality of a life well lived."

Enlisting in the United States Army Air Corps (later to become the United States Air Force) at the start of  World War II, Crozier served with the 435th Troop Carrier Group and participated in many of the war’s signature battles and operations including the Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Crossbow and Operation Market Garden, as well as in the Ardennes, Rome-Arno and Rhineland campaigns.

Among numerous military medals and campaign ribbons, Crozier is a recipient of the Bronze Star, the fifth-highest combat decoration awarded by the United States Armed Forces.

Following his WWII service and culminating a 25-year career in the Air Force, during the early years of the Cold War Lt. Col. Crozier commanded Chennault Air Force Base, a United States Air Force Strategic Air Command base near Lakes Charles, Louisiana. The base was responsible for keeping nuclear armed B-47’s and B-52’s airborne at all times.

Upon retiring from the Air Force, Crozier returned to Steuben County where he has spent a lifetime of community and public service in numerous capacities.  He served as Executive Vice President of the Corning Chamber of Commerce and has been active in organizations including Corning Crossroads, Three Rivers Development and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Crozier served as a Trustee of the Village of Painted Post from 1987 to 1996.  His first tenure as the Mayor of Painted Post was from 1996 to 2002.  He was re-elected Mayor in 2010 and continues to serve in that capacity.

At the induction ceremony earlier today, O’Mara was joined by members of Crozier’s family, Painted Post village trustees and other village officials, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) and other local leaders and citizens to pay tribute to Crozier’s lifetime of military and civilian service.

The Senate established its online Veterans Hall of Fame in 2005 and, including this year, approximately 240 veterans have been inducted. It’s designed to honor New York veterans whose service in the United States Armed Forces is accompanied by service to the community and accomplishments as a civilian, and includes veterans representing Senate districts from throughout New York State -- including several from the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

“I appreciate these opportunities to pay tribute to the lives and the service of our local heroes,” said O’Mara, who last year inducted Chemung County Historian and World War II veteran Arthur “Archie” Kieffer into the Hall of Fame.

In 2011, O’Mara honored Philip C. Smith, a highly decorated Korean War combat veteran and well-known figure in Schuyler County government and veterans’ affairs.

Crozier was among 54 veterans statewide who joined the Hall this year.  He wasn’t able to attend the induction ceremony in Albany on May 21st, so O’Mara held today’s local ceremony.

Watch a video highlighting the May 21st ceremony and including Senator O'Mara's special tribute to Mayor Crozier. 

[see photos from today's ceremony in Painted Post]

Click here to read Mayor Crozier’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame induction.

View the full Veterans' Hall of Fame.