HARRIS, JR. (VETERAN WWII, POW, J. D - Saline County, Arkansas | J. D HARRIS, JR. (VETERAN WWII, POW - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

J. D HARRIS, JR. (VETERAN WWII, POW

Pinecrest Memorial Park and Garden Mausoleum Cemetery
Saline County,
Arkansas

US Army Air Forces
World War II
January 22, 1923 - November 17, 2006
Purple Heart
Prisoner Of War

Mr. Harris was born on January 22, 1923, to Jetta Penn Harris and Jeff Harris in Lawrence County, Arkansas.
Mr. Harris entered the Army Air Corps in January, 1943. His training as a radio operator and upper turret gunner took him to several air bases, especially in the western part of the United States. In July, 1944, he was assigned to the 484th bomber group with the 15th Air Force in Italy. It was August 20, 1944, on his 21st mission, that his B-24 Liberator bomber took a direct hit from ground flak over the target near Szolnok, Hungary. Only minutes before the burning, crippled plane was blown apart, Harris was able to escape from his plane. He was floating down to earth in his parachute when his knee was shattered by fire from enemy ground troops. Upon landing, German troops arrived quickly to take him prisoner. Four of the crew of ten were not as fortunate. They went down with their plane.
On November 11, 1944, Harris was declared a U. S. prisoner of the Germans.
Harris was held in various prison camps in Hungary and Germany, although most of his encampment was spent in Stalag 4, a German camp northeast of Stettin, Germany, which was near the Baltic Sea. As a prisoner, J. D. kept a brief account of some of his day-to-day activities and experiences in a “notebook” made from empty cigarette packs. To keep the guards from taking his “diary” Harris often hid his information in his boot. Harris was released from prison to the American forces on April 28, 1945.
He and his wife Virl owned Harris Shoe Store in Benton, Arkansas. My mother worked at the shoe store for several years. It was an honor to know Mr. Harris.

Obituary is courtesy of the Roller-Ballard Funeral home online :

Contributed on 9/22/08 by pvhwdh
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Record #: 63288

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Submitted: 9/22/08 • Approved: 4/27/11 • Last Updated: 9/1/12 • R63288-G0-S3

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