Thursday, May 18, 2017

WW2 Fallen - Audrey Harris, 37th Infantry Division

Pfc. Audrey Harris. 

Audrey Harris never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 18, 1917 in Alabama. His parents were also both born in Alabama. His father was a farm laborer. Audrey had a younger brother (who joined the army in February 1945) and a younger sister. By 1940 his parents were not living together. His mom was working as a housekeeper and Audrey, who completed one year of high school, was working in a saw mill and lived with her.

Audrey enlisted in the US Army on December 31, 1942. He was married at the time. He was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 145th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division and had the rank of private first class. Pfc. Harris may have joined his unit in time to serve in the Battle for Bougainville in the spring of 1944. The 145th Infantry Regiment participated in the invasion of Luzon in January 1945 and helped secure Manila in March 1945.

CORRECTION: In an early version of this story I reported that Pfc. Harris died May 12, 1945 when the 37th Division was resting and resupplying. I have since learned from the 37th Infantry Division in WWII (@37thidwwii) that on May 12, 1945 the 145th Infantry Regiment was actually fighting a very bloody battle at Mount Pacawagen and the Wawa Dam sector. It is likely that Pfc. Harris was killed due to this action.

His remains were returned to be buried at Orange Cemetery in Clarke County, Mississippi. I did not find any information about his widow.

Thank you Audrey for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Audrey.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
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