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 Harris William “Harry” Kamis
Cenotaph

Harris William “Harry” Kamis

Birth
Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Death 8 Aug 1946 (aged 22)
Hawaii, USA
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 55817955 · View Source
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Although Harris was born and raised in the shadow of Cleveland, a beloved part of a sprawling, extended family, he no longer has living parents and only one sibling. He married, but never had children. His wife remarried about 6 years after his death. Prior to his Army enlistment, he worked as a "clerk or general office" worker.

Parents: Wilhelmina Everett & James Louis Kamis.

Siblings:
Twin A sister Kamis
Twin B sister Kamis
Betty Louise Kamis (Comstock, Meeks)
Russell Bert Kamis
James Louis Kamis
John Machutek
One surviving sibling

He entered the Army Air Force on November 2, 1942 from Enid, Oklahoma. Harris graduated from Army Air Force combat training as part of B-24 Combat Crew 6935 at Caspar Army Air Field, Wyoming, on September 1, 1944. The Kamis Crew was stationed on the Foggia Plain near Bari, Italy during WW II. Since his was a replacement for crews resting between sorties, they flew in many different planes without an assigned plane of their own. Harris was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. The only known member of his B-24 crew still living, his co-pilot, continues to hold Harry in the highest regard as a friend, a pilot, and an officer. They remained friends until Harris' death.

Harris had planned to become a commercial pilot after the War, so in order to keep up his flying hours, he stayed with the AAF as a 1st Lieutenant, a member of the 7th Emergency Rescue Squadron, flying amphibious OA-10s, also known as PBYs. It was in this capacity that he lost his life during a routine training flight. Seven other men also died in that crash, one half mile off O'ahu, Territory of Hawaii. They include the six member crew and two soldiers getting a transport ride. Although the crash was observed and rescue efforts were launched immediately, no bodies were ever recovered.

Crew, 7th Emergency Rescue Squadron:
1st Lt Harris Kamis
2nd Lt Benjamin F Colson
2nd Lt Vincent G Badolato
Sgt Stanley R Kelley
Cpl Bedford K Metzger Jr
Pfc Riego C Miguel

Passengers:
1st Sgt Joseph G Ritchie
Pfc Richard K Albert


A memorial service was held for Harris in Cleveland on September 29, 1946 at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church.


Resources:

* Cleveland Necrology File, Cleveland Public Library
* Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, August 9, 1946, page 1, banner headline article.
* Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Tuesday, August 20, 1946, page 1, headline article.
* Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 (Enlistment Records), Kamis, Harris W., ASN 18094222, database found online at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA).
* Kamis, Harris - Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF), US Army Human Resources Command.
* Kamis, Harris - Report of Major Accident, HQ Air Force Historical Research Agency.
* News of the crash was carried in numerous newspapers across the United States on August 8 and August 9, 1946, NewspaperArchive and other online newspaper databases.
* Personal observations and photos from the families of the WW II Kamis Crew co-pilot and radio operator.
* American Battle Monuments Commission, "World War II database".


Family Members


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  • Created by: seekerJay
  • Added: 3 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55817955
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harris William “Harry” Kamis (21 Jul 1924–8 Aug 1946), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55817955, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by seekerJay (contributor 46998289) .