Virgil James Harris III ("Jim"), Ormond Beach, passed away on August 26, 2014 after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 70. Jim was born to Claire and Virgil James Harris Jr. on 11 December 1943 in Long Beach, CA. He was the eldest of six children and served in the U.S. Army's 7th Special Forces E Company; where he, among other things, graduated from both the elite Combat Diver Qualification Course in 1966 and U.S. Army Airborne HALO training. Jim was later recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations where he served in various paramilitary operations in Indochina. During the Vietnam War, he was detailed to the pacification program Civil Operations & Revolutionary Development Support ("CORDS") as well to Agency operations on Air America. Jim was wounded in action during tours in the Dominican Republic in 1965 as well as during the Tet Offensive in Hue during 1968. For the latter, he was awarded the CIA's Intelligence Star and Bronze Star for valor for his efforts to evacuate their team, despite heavy casualties and himself having taken two bullets in the arm and chest, back to friendly lines in Phu Bai. Many will remember Jim for his time with friends at the Shiloh Hilton and Pioneer Trail hunting clubs, where he was a fixture both as lead chef and gardener. He also had a garden in his back yard and enjoyed sharing his veggies with friends and neighbors. Jim is survived by his loving partner of 30 years Annette Tutera; his children Chris (Lea), Stacey (Gabe) and Kevin (Charli); grandchildren Hannah, Jaden, Jack and Benjamin; siblings David, Patrick, Kathy and Barbara; and dog Emma. The family asks that donations be made to the Halifax Humane Society.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Aug. 31, 2014