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 and 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. For the last few years, the reunions have been in conjunction with the USS Brooke association.
Frank died in 1994. The members assembled and decide to continue on with his original objectives. The National Sonar Association now operates as an association, having elected officers and directors on an annual basis to guide the association, always mindful of "Ping Jockeys Never lose contact."
To maintain communications and inter-personal relations between members in order to promote a strong sense of pride and camaraderie.
To publicize the evolution and history of Sonar, and the significant contributions of Sonar and Sonar personnel to the Navy's sustained state of peacetime readiness and battle effectiveness.
To sponsor a means of recognizing superior performance by the men and women of the sonar rate, when such performance is brought to the attention of the Association.
To offer our services and resources, as feasible, to naval commands and community organizations that wish to enter into cooperative ventures that are for the good of the Naval service and the general public.
To periodically meet together in a social setting to further new and old friendships, share experiences, and strengthen our bonds.