Walter Crum was the son of Edward and Anna Crum of New York. Walter enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS Asheville, a gun boat, during World War II. On March 3 of 1942, the ship was engaged by two enemy destroyers and sunk approximately 300 miles south of Java. All personnel were considered Missing In Action (the official MIA date at the time was March 1, 1942). It was later learned one survivor, FM/2c Fred Brown, was pulled from the water. Brown died, March 1945, in a POW camp in the Celebes, N.E.I., but not before telling the story of what had happened to the Asheville. After the war, a fellow POW reported Brown's tale to the US Navy. November 25, 1945, Walter Crum and his shipmates were officially considered Killed In Action (Buried at Sea). His father, Edward, preceded him in death.
Walter was survived by his mother and his brothers and sisters.
Walter's name is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines.