China / Burma / India Theatre of war

June 1 1910  -  May 6 1965

Retired Veteran U.S. Army Ordinance Corps
 
 
 
 

 

A Tribute To My Dad

We go through life walking along our own path and when we finally get to our destination we look back along the road and realize that there were a lot of people we met, lived with, or just passed by and we often wish that maybe we had stopped and talked for awhile. Sometimes we see these people again further along and sometimes they are gone. This was the case with my dad. He passed away when I was in my early 20's and I never got to know him as one man gets to know another he loves very much. I never got to tell him how proud I was to be his son, how proud I was of him and what he did with his life. So I made up this little web page to tell the world these things. It's not much, for after all I never got to ask the questions I would like to ask now, but it reflects my love for him and it is my shout to the world " See---this is my father ! "

So these are the facts. I don't really know how to describe the man. There are all kinds of adjectives that apply but for some reason I do not think I can word it so that someone could understand what he was about. You know I think the only way that might work is for me to tell you he was another John Wayne. He may have been 18 inches shorter but he was very much the same man. He had all the love in him you could want, all the honor and integrity you could ask for and he would drop what ever he was doing to go help his fellow man. So that is my father. That is our father, for my brother and I.

Glenn J. Harris II

June 1 2005

 

 

 

Glenn Harris was born in Sioux Falls South Dakota but moved from there, via various intermediate stops, to Coral Gables Florida where his father worked. His father was heavily involved in the construction of Coral Gables Florida and in 1926 Glenn joined the military ranks of Staunton Military Academy in Staunton Virginia. Glenn was promoted to Corporal in his sophomore year, Sergeant in his junior year and Lieutenant in his senior year. His senior class yearbook describes Glenn "Bunky" "Pops" Harris as Rat Private Co. "D" 1926-1927; Corporal Co. "D" 1927-1928; Sergeant Co. 'D" 1928-1929; Lieutenant Co. "D" 1929-1930; Swimming Team 1926-1927; Fencing Tournament 1926-1927; wrestling Team 1927-1927; Motion Picture Committee 1927-1930; Annex Dirty Dozen 1928-1929; Chairman Motion Picture Committee 1929-1930; Camp Mean Honor Student 1928-1929. Just what bearing the exit of "Bunkey" had upon the climatic and economic conditions that brought about Florida's disastrous tumble of recent years, we are unprepared to say. It is, however, quite understandable how, in the absence of such a silver tongued orator, the people would lose faith in the situation and, then too, a sudden cooling of the atmosphere would undoubtedly bring about extreme conditions. The reason for our not going further into the matter is due to the fact that one afternoon we asked " Little Napoleon" to tell us of the hearts he had broken, and we never did get to bed that night. ( Being very young, we must have our sleep. ) If we have given the impression that Harris is other than a conscientious and likeable fellow, it was unintended, for he has a deservedly excellent record ( outside of leaving communion with T. G. Downstairs ), being second in command of " D " company and a hard worker in the projection room. His photo collection has done much to assist in the propagation of the idea that all of the bathing girls of his native Florida are beautiful.

 

GLENN JOHN HARRIS SENIOR PAGE FROM HIS YEARBOOK

STAUNTON MILITARY ACADAMY

 

Glenn graduated and from Staunton Military Academy in June 1930 as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves and then from Alexander Hamilton Institute. From 1931 to 1941 he held positions as a salesman for Remington Rand in New York ( 1931), Assistant Collection Manager for J.E. Strause in New York (1932-1934), as a salesman for Socony Vacuum Company in New York (1934-1935) Glenn, taking advantage of his commission in the U.S. Army reserves, became a company officer and construction officer in the Civilian Conservation Corps in CCC Company 1242, CCC Camp SP-12 in Englewood New Jersey, Company 239 Camp S-54 Butler new Jersey and in California during the period 1935 through 1937.

CCC CAMP IN CALIFORNIA

 

 

Subsequent to that he moved to New York as an Industrial Engineer for George May Company in New York during 1937 to 1939, where he married Mary Catherine Van Buren on July 2 1938. He then went to work as an Industrial Engineer for Superior Metal Products Company in Minneapolis in (1939-1941). Glenn was in Minneapolis when the WW II broke out and he felt it was important to serve and to help the war effort with the training he had. He left Minneapolis to go on active duty with the US ARMY on February 3, 1942.

His Military record is as follows:

1930, June 5                       Graduated Staunton Military Academy

1935 – 1937                        2ND Lt. In the Army Reserves. Appointment Jul 21 1931
1937 – 1942                        Industrial Engineer

1942 Jul 5                           Promoted to 1 st Lt in Army Reserves

1942                                   Property Manager, Badger Ordinance Works, California

1943 Sept 13                      Promoted to Captain In Reserves

1943                                                                   Commanding Officer 610 Ordinance Ammunition Company Santa Anita, California

1943 – 1944                       Commanding Officer 610 Ordinance Ammunition Company Chabua India

Aug 8 – Dec 14 1944         351 st Ordinance Battalion

          1945 Jan 26                        Promoted to Major in Reserves

Dec 15 1944–Aug 8 1945  Operations/Supply officer 76th Ordinance Base Depot Burma/India

Aug 9 - Nov 2 1945            199 th Ordinance Battalion

1946                                   Executive Officer/Commanding Officer, Stockton Ordinance Depot, California

1947 Mar 12                       Promoted to Captain in Regular Army

1948, Jul – 1949, Jul          Graduated from US Army Command and General Staff College Ft Leavenworth Kansas

1949 Jan 2                          Promoted to Major in Regular Army
1949                                    Director Maintenance, Benecia Arsenal California
1950 Nov 2                          Promoted to Temporary Lt. Colonel
          1950 – 1951                        Ft. Sam Houston Texas
1951 – 1953                        Military Advisor Ankara Turkey
1954 Jul 2                            Promoted to Lt. Colonel in Regular Army
1954 – 1957                        Advisor to Surgeon General Office, Ft Lee Virginia. He was
on detached service to the office and assisted in drafting

 and negotiating the Dependent Medical Care Act

1957 – 1960                        Ordinance Department Pentagon, Washington DC

1960 – 1962                        Military Advisor, Taiwan Army, Taipei Taiwan

1962                                                                    Retired  

Deceased May 6 1965 Cherry Point Naval Air Station North Carolina
 
Foreign Service     WW II  China/Burma/India Campaign     Sep 7 1943 – Nov 29 1945

                                Ankara Turkey                                         Apr 17 1951 – Jun 1 1953

                               Taipei Taiwan                                           Mar 22 1960 – Aug 28 1962

 

 

Captain Harris in WWII was stationed primarily in the Assam India area of operations and at times was in the villages of Chabua, Panitola in the Assam area and Makum in Northeast India, and was responsible for the command and control of various types of munitions.

His first Bronze Star was awarded for actions on December 30 1943 and a second accident on January 2 1944 when he organized two rescue parties for these plane crashes in Burma. These actions resulted in the saving of nineteen lives. The second crash, was on his way home after the war. He was told to get on the airplane, not knowing that he was bumping someone off. When he got on the soldier was told that my dad had a higher priority and that he had to get off. The soldier stood up and saluted and started to get off. My dad told him to sit back down and go home, that there would be another airplane. This plane crashed on takeoff.

As Commanding Officer of the 610 th ordinance ammunition company in the China/Burma/India campaign in 1944and 1945 he was responsible for invention, design and production of colored flares needed by Merrill's Maurauders in the Burma Jungles. These flares were used for spotting enemy soldiers infiltrating through American lines and his action had a direct impact on the conclusion of the Burma Campaign. For these actions he received his second Bronze Star.


Glenn graduated from the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth Kansas in 1949.

In Turkey my dad was serving as a military advisor to the Turkish Army at the Military Aid Mission in Ankara, I was lucky enough to go off to camp in Istanbul. My Dad was on some secret assignment at the time and was unable to see me off on the train to Istanbul. However he would meet me, and did, at the train station at a small village on the coast near Istanbul. We had about ten minutes during the stop. I later found out that he and four or five Turkish Army Ordinance people were working on a cargo ship that had been sabotaged while in port. The ship was carrying munitions and someone had gotten on board and put dynamite blasting caps throughout the cargo hold. They spent four or five days onboard picking up each cap, one at a time.

My last memory of my dad's career was in the summer of 1960 when I went to see my parents in Taiwan during the summer. He had been stationed at the Military Mission in Taipei. One evening during supper he told us about his day. It seems when he got to the office his Commanding Officer wanted to see him. He went to his office and found out that he was to report to  Chiang Kai-shek's office at 11:00 a.m. and he advised his Commanding Officer that he had no idea what it could be about. When he arrived he was greeted by a Chinese General whom he realized was the Chinese Captain that he had worked with in the CBI theater in WW II in India !

CBI THEATRE PATCH

The above ship is the USAT George Washington ( T-Ap-19 ) that Captain Glenn Harris traveled on from the USA to assignment in WW II in the China/Burma/India Theater of war.

 

In 1943 Captain Harris was ordered to Los Angeles California to take control of Camp  Santa Anita. Camp Santa Anita had been Santa Anita Race Track prior to that time but he U.S. Army had taken it over and was using it as a collection point to collect the soldiers destined for the South Pacific Theatre of the War against Japan. The first group out was commanded by Captain Harris aboard the USAT George Washington, reconfigured from a passenger liner to a troop transport. The ship left Los Angeles California on September 7 1943, carrying 7500 troops, the 25th Field Hospital, Engineering Units and others, all destined for Bombay India. The ship went via Tasmania and Perth Australia on the way and arriving in Bombay on October 19 1943. Captain Harris was Company Commander of the 610th Ammunition Company. Records indicate he returned to the USA during 1945 on the same ship, arriving at Fort Totten in New York on November 29 1945.

His first Bronze Star was awarded for actions in late 1943 and early 1944 when he organized two rescue parties for two separate plane crashes in Burma. One on December 30 1943 and the other on January 2 1944. These actions restulted in the saving of nineteen lives. As Commanding Officer of the 610 th ordinance ammunition company in the China/Burma/India campaign in 1944 and 1945 he was responsible for invention, design and production of colored flares needed by Merrill’s Maurauders in the Burma Jungles. These flares were used for spotting enemy soldiers infiltrating through American lines and his action had a direct impact on the conclusion of the Burma Campaign. For these actions he received his second Bronze Star.

The picture shown below is a C-46 military airplane used in WW II which is similar to the one that Major Glenn John Harris organized a rescue party for when it crashed on December 30 1945 in Chabua India. He had been on the airplane but was bumped off for another soldier who had a higher priority.

 
 
 
The Commendation shown below is for the creation of specialized flares needed by Merrill's Marauders for use in the Burma Jungle. In addition for the work his company did in handling and warehousing some 60,000 tons of ammunition and other supplies.
 
 
Lt. Col. Glenn Harris uniform medal bar
 
 
 

 

 

                    BRONZE STAR MEDAL

His first Bronze Star was awarded for actions in late 1943 and early 1944 when he organized two rescue parties for two separate plane crashes in Burma. One on December 30 1943 and the other on January 2 1944. These actions resulted in the saving of nineteen lives. In late 1956 and early 1957 he was on detached service to the Surgeon Generals office and assisted in drafting and negotiating the Dependent Medical Car Act.

 

                    BRONZE STAR MEDAL

As Commanding Officer of the 610 th ordinance ammunition company in the China/Burma/India campaign in 1944and 1945 he was responsible for invention, design and production of colored flares needed by Merrill’s Maurauders in the Burma Jungles. These flares were used for spotting enemy soldiers infiltrating through American lines and his action had a direct the conclusion of the Burma Campaign. For these action he received his second Bronze Star.

 

                    4 OVERSEAS SERVICE BARS

                    Authorized to wear 4 Overseas service Bars.

 

                    ARMED FORCES RESERVE MEDAL

The Armed Forces Reserve Medal was awarded for honorable and satisfactory service as a member of one or more of the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces of the United States for a period of 10 years within a 12-year period. .

 

                    WW II VICTORY MEDAL

The WW II Victory Medal was awarded to all military personnel for service between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946.  

 

          ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL

            The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded to personnel for service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater between 7 December 1941

            and 2 March 1946 and was in active combat against the enemy and was awarded a combat decoration.

 

         AMERICAN DEFENSE MEDAL

           The American Defense Service Medal was awarded to personnel for active duty service outside the Continental United States

           from 8 September 1939 to 7 December 1941 for a period of twelve months or longer.

 

         NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL

          Given to United States military was created in 1953, the National Defense Service Medal was intended to be "blanket campaign medal"   

          awarded to any member of the United States military who served honorably during a designated time period of which a "national emergency"

          had been declared.

 

        AMERICAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL

          The American Campaign Medal was awarded to personnel for service within the American Theater between 7 December 1941 and 2 March           1946 and was in active combat against the enemy and was awarded a combat decoration.

 

 

 

Captain Glenn Harris and friends crossing the river with their jeep.

Notice the bottle of Schlitz Beer they enjoy on the cruise in India during WW II

 

 

 

Captain Glenn Harris in his faithful jeep in India during WW II

 

 

Lt. Colonel Glenn John Harris Grave Site Arlington National Cemetery 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
F  I  N  I  S
 
You can contact me at GJHRETIRED@GMAIL.COM