|John S. Harris, Torpedoman's Mate 2S, USS Canopus|
John S. Harris could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on January 31, 1917 in Georgia. His mother was also from Georgia. His father was from South Carolina and was a superintendent of a cotton gin and saw mill. He later became a public works engineer. John had one older sister and one younger brother.
He joined the navy prior to the war and was stationed in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded. He served as a Torpedoman's Mate, Second Class on the submarine tender USS Canopus.
He was captured after fighting in Bataan, survived the Bataan Death March, and was a POW until he died on December 14, 1944 in the infamous Palawan Massacre. This tragic event was written about in WIlliam B. Breuer's book The Great Raid: Rescuing the Doomed Ghosts of Bataan and Corregidor which was made into the 2005 movie The Great Raid. Harris was among 139 POWs burned alive or machine gunned to prevent them from being rescued by advancing American troops.
|Coffins with the remains of those killed in the Palawan Massacre|
His remains were returned to be buried in a mass grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with 122 of his comrades.
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