Horace "Sally" Crouch was born on October 29, 1918, in Columbia, South Carolina. He enlisted in the South Carolina Army National Guard on August 2, 1937, and served until his honorable discharge on November 17, 1939. During this time he also attended the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Army through the Army ROTC program at The Citadel on July 27, 1940. Lt Crouch next attended Bombardier and Navigator training from July 1940 to June 1941, followed by service as a B-25 Mitchell Navigator-Bombardier with the 89th Reconnaissance Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group at Pendleton Army Airfield, Oregon, and at McChord Field, Washington, from June 1941 until he was selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. Lt Crouch was the navigator-bombardier on the 10th B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942, and after bombing its assigned targets in Japan, the crew bailed out over China when their aircraft ran out of fuel. He remained in the China-Burma-India Theater after the raid, and served as a B-25 navigator-bombardier with the 11th Bomb Squadron of the 341st Bomb Group in India until returning to the United States in June 1943. After serving in the United States for the remainder of World War II, Maj Crouch served in Japan from October 1945 to January 1946, and from March to July 1946, before leaving active duty and joining the Air Force Reserve on January 2, 1947. He was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Air Force on July 29, 1948. His next assignment was as Deputy State Director of Selective Service in Columbia, South Carolina, from July 1948 to September 1950, followed by service as a B-29 Superfortress navigator with the 353rd and then the 352nd Bomb Squadrons, the 301st Air Base Group, and the 301st Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, from September 1950 to July 1952. Lt Col Crouch served as a B-29 navigator, and as the Wing Flying Training and Ground Training Officer with Headquarters 307th Bomb Wing at Kadena AB, Okinawa, from July 1952 to February 1953, and during this time he flew combat missions during the Korean War. His next assignment was as Assistant Staff Observer with Headquarters 4th Air Division at Barksdale AFB from February to May 1953, followed by service as Director of Intelligence and Chief of Intelligence with Headquarters 301st Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB from May 1953 to August 1954. After completing additional Observer Upgrade training, Lt Col Crouch served as Chief of Intelligence with Headquarters 68th Bomb Wing at Lake Charles AFB, Louisiana, from December 1954 to July 1956, and then completed B-47 Stratojet Observer Combat Crew Training from July to September 1956. His next assignment was as a B-47 aircraft observer with the B-47 Combat Crew Training school, 656th Bomb Squadron, at Lake Charles AFB, from September 1956 until he left active duty on December 1, 1957. He was able to return to active duty in an enlisted status as a Staff Sergeant on January 24, 1958, and was trained as a Photo Interpretation Specialist at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, from January to June 1958. His next assignment was as a Photo Interpretation Specialist and Intelligence Analyst with Detachment #1 of the 7050th Air Intelligence Service Wing (redesignated Detachment #1, 7000th Support Wing in September 1958) in Wiesbaden, West Germany, from June 1958 to June 1960, followed by service as an Intelligence Analyst with Detachment #2, 7260th Support Group at Lindsey AS, West Germany, from July 1960 to July 1961. His final assignment was as an Intelligence Operations Technician with the 4444th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron at Shaw AFB from July 1961 until his retirement from the Air Force on May 1, 1962. Horace Crouch was able to revert to his highest grade at retirement, Lieutenant Colonel. After retiring from the Air Force, he taught high school math and drafting until retiring in June 1982. Horace "Sally" Crouch died on December 21, 2005, and was buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, South Carolina.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. Lieutenant Crouch volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Lieutenant Crouch and the military service.