First Peace Corps Volunteer to die in service memorialized in Bolivar, MO 56 years after his death

A memorial service was held in Bolivar, Missouri on April 22nd for David Crozier and Larry Radley organized by the Missouri RPCV group. These PCVs were the first two Volunteers who gave their lives in service. April 22nd was the 56th anniversary of the day they died, April 22, 1962. Speaking at the event were Larry’s brother Gordan Radley (Malawi 1968-70), his sister, Elena Radley Rozenman (Colombia 1963-65), PCA president Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988-91), and others. You can see the service on this video.

David Crozier (2nd from left) with Colombian counterparts


Columbia, MO – On April 22, 2018 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from around Missouri and the United States gathered in Bolivar, MO, at Dunnegan Memorial Park and Greenwood Cemetery to remember David Crozier. Crozier died in a plane accident on April 22, 1962, in Colombia, South America. With fellow Peace Corps Volunteer Larry Radley, who also perished, they were the first Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide to die in service. President Kennedy had just signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps “to promote world peace and friendship” in 1961 when David Crozier, a pharmacist’s son from rural West Plains, MO, decided to serve. It was a turbulent time in U.S. history; in a letter to his parents David wrote “If it should come to it, I’d rather give my life trying to help these people, than to have to give my life looking down a gun barrel at them.”

Colombia I


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