Judge and Mrs. Finis E. Harris received a telegram this week from the War Department stating that another son, Lieut, Finis E. Harris, Jr., was killed in England on December 15, 1944. Only last week, a message was received by Judge and Mrs. Harris from the War Department, stating that Cpl. Perry Rowe Harris was killed in action on Leyte, in the Phillippines. Another son, Mark E. Harris, who is in training in the Army Air Corps, in Nashville, is seriously ill with pneumonia.
Judge and and Mrs. Harris have the sympathy of the people of Cookeville and the entire Upper Cumberland in this sad hour. The three brothers volunteered for service in the Army Air Corps.
Lieut, Harris volunteered in June, 1943, and was inducted into the service at Biloxi, MS. He received his preflight training at Kelly Field, Dallas, TX, primary training at Chickasha, OK, basic at Enid, OK, advanced at Pampa, TX, where he received his wings in May 1943. He went to England in August 1943, and was pilot of a B26, later being transferred to a Flying Fortress.
Putnam County Herald, Cookeville, TN: Thursday, 4 January 1945.
A report written after the crash from a crew member who bailed out reads as follows:
(page one missing).. "to our base in England as fellow crew members from a raid on Kassel, Germany. The ship had been severely damaged by flack. Our number one engine was shot out and the fuselage had been badly shot out. There was considerable doubt in all minds of the members of the crew as to our ability to make our base. We were flying in zero-zero weather and were unsure as to our exact position. On reaching the coast of England our pilot, Lieutenant Harris, felt that his ability to land our damaged airplane safely was highly in question and passed the word round to we crew members to bail out if we were so inclined. My friend, Sergeant Burry, decided to stay with the ship, whilst I elected to bail out, which I did. To the best of my knowledge, almost immediately after leaving the ship it cashed into a radar tower about six miles from our home base, located near Rushedon, England. All members of the crew, including Sergeant Burry were killed in the crash.....
Entered the service from Tennessee.