CRANE — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) hosted 97-year-old Russell Pruett, a World War II veteran whose family homesteaded land that later became established as part of the Navy base. Pruett began his career working at Crane in 1941, and along with his daughter Lynette Bauer and grandson Josh Bauer, toured NSWC Crane in September of this year.
“It is not often you have the opportunity to meet the very people who helped build the foundation of what we are today,” said Dr. Brett Seidle, the technical director at NSWC Crane. “We stand on the shoulders of those like Russell who came before us and it was a privilege to be able to give him a tour of Crane and hear the stories of his time here. He is just a great guy and knew every road, every building, every cemetery, and every jeep trail still today. We really were amazed at his knowledge of the base.”
The land Pruett’s family lived on was purchased by the federal government in 1941; the Pruett family had 30 days to move out of their home. Pruett, who also is a 60-year member of the American Federation of Government Employees, worked at Crane in 1941 before enlisting in the Army and serving in WWII. Upon his return home, he worked at Crane an additional 35 years before retiring.
Pruett is one of the last few remaining individuals who was at Crane when it first opened as a Naval Ammunition Depot.