HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL SONAR ASSOCIATION
In 1982, Frank Crawford, STCS, USN (Ret.) organized the National Association of Sonarmen (NAS). He stated, "Time has a bad habit of separating people and dimming old memories," and so he formed a national group to link all Soundmen, Sonarmen, and Sonar Technicians together whether surface, sub or air and without regard to time in service or career status. Frank had prior experience with organization of Navy people. He was the founder of the Destroyer Escort Association. But Sonar was Frank's long time devotion and it led him to organize the association as we know it today.
Frank created a newsletter, appropriately named "The Ping Jockey" which went out for the first time in July of 1982. He set the tone for all issues to follow by encouraging his readers to submit articles and stories. He initiated the routine of publishing the names duty stations of all newly recruited members.
Frank worked to improve each edition of the newsletter by adding such items as columns titled "Do you know where they are?" Many shipmates found long lost friends through the use of this service long before the Internet supplanted this effort.
The first Sonar reunion convened in San Diego on July 18, 1983 with 37 members in attendance. In successive years, Frank carefully organized the reunions, alternating them between the east and west coasts in an effort to make the 3 day event easily accessible to all members. Currently the association meets where it can most benefit our membership but generally we still alternate between coasts.
Frank died in 1994. The members assembled and decide to continue on with his original objectives. The National Sonar Association now operates as a non-profit association, having elected officers and directors on an annual basis to guide the association, always mindful of "Ping Jockey's Never lose contact." Annual Dues are $20.