In honor of Veterans Day, we'd like to share this story about Haskell's, World War II, a veteran named Armand Crump — and some missing whiskey. Special thanks to Dave Arundel for the write-up of this fascinating story.
Here is a story that you likely have never heard, about a remarkable man, Armand Crump, as well as Benny Haskell, the founder of Haskell's, along with his wife, Fritzi Haskell.
The Story Begins in 1942
In 1942 - at age 18 - Armand Crump was sent by the Army Air Force to Yale University to attend Aircraft Engineering Officer School. After completion of a one year course, he joined the Army Air Force with the rank of 2nd lieutenant. He ended up at Biggs Field, the Army Air Force base in El Paso, Texas. At the ripe old age of 21, Armand was in charge of keeping 16 B29 bombers ship shape and ready to enter combat. He had 150 mechanics and 2 clerks under his command.
The war had ended in Europe and the word was that Armand’s B29’s were going to be leaving soon, assigned to the war in the Pacific. Armand’s mechanics were getting antsy, word had come back from the Pacific that alcoholic libations were in short supply. A couple of the mechanics came to the boss with this idea – “let’s take a collection, and buy a bunch of liquor to take with us when we fly out to the Pacific.” Simple enough plan. The clerks mimeographed a couple grids. Money was collected and accounted to each man, and even favorite beverages were listed.