PFC Lawrence Nelson Harris

PFC Lawrence Nelson Harris

West Virginia, USA
Death 9 Oct 1944 (aged 24)
Burial Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia, USA
Plot Section 5 Site 835
Memorial ID 67505755 · View Source
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Lawrence "Nelson" Harris was born on March 16, 1920, in Elkwater, West Virginia to George Washington Harris and Bertha Elizabeth Wiseman Harris. He is their second of six children and their second of three sons.

He is the grandson of Nelson Alexander Harris & Virginia Jennie Riffle Harris and John Marshall Wiseman & Lula E. Rinehart Wiseman.

Nelson is the brother to Paul Merl, Eugene H., Ruth Ann, Mary Louise, and Evelyn "Lucille".

During World War II Nelson enlisted into the United States Army in Fort Hayes, Ohio on January 23, 1942, as a Private First Class. After boot camp he was assigned to the 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.

On October 9, 1944, while clearing the way for the United States Army to advance in the Parroy Forrest, France the M-10 tank destroyer in which he, Cpl. Hellums, Pvt. Owens, and Sgt. Rabe occupied was hit by German enemy anti-tank fire. Sgt. Rabe was blown free of the tank while Pfc. Harris and the others perished by fire in the tank. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal.

After the war the U.S. Army Graves Registration Board was unable to locate the wreckage and recover the remains of the soldiers and the men were declared dead and unrecoverable. The U.S. Army Graves Registration Board was not aware that some of the soldier's remains were removed and buried without identification in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium.

In 2003, a French national exploring the Parroy Forest found human remains and other materials that were later identified as those of the soldiers who were killed in the M-10 tank destroyer on October 9, 1944.

The remains in the Ardennes American Cemetery were exhumed and along with those found at the site were sent to Hawaii for DNA identification. The DOD announced today that the remains of Pfc. Lawrence "Nelson" Harris have been positively identified along with those of Cpl. Judge C. Hellums. Now, he and Cpl. Hellums will now return home to the country for which they laid down their lives.

Pfc. Lawrence "Nelson" Harris will be laid to rest almost sixty-six years to the day of his death in the West Virginia National Cemetery in Prunytown, West Virginia on October 8, 2010, with full military honors from the honor guards from Taylor County and Camp Dawson.

PFC Harris is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings. He is survived by his nieces, his one great-niece, his nephews, and his cousins.

Welcome home PFC Harris.

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  • Created by: Zuzu*s Petals
  • Added: 26 Mar 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 67505755
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Lawrence Nelson Harris (16 Mar 1920–9 Oct 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 67505755, citing West Virginia National Cemetery, Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Zuzu*s Petals (contributor 47134653) .