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John Harrison

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John Harrison Obituary
JOHN HARRISON Age 90, passed away on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center in Loma Linda, CA. John was born on July 21, 1922 in Salcoats, Scotland. When John was one year old, his parents, William and Sarah (nee: Laughlan) Harrison, along with John and his three year old sister, Catherine (a.k.a.: Rena) immigrated to the United States. The family settled in Niagara Falls, New York. John graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1940 and married his high school sweetheart Catherine (a.k.a.: Kay) Murphy in June of 1942. In October 1942 John volunteered for the Army Aviation Cadets, and was called for aviation training on January 27, 1943. After completing flight and navigation training, John was assigned to a flight crew. The crew traveled to Lincoln Field, Nebraska to take control of a brand new B-24 Liberator and in July 1944 flew the plane to England for combat duty. By the time the war in Europe ended, John had completed 35 combat missions over France and Germany. He was the lead navigator on 10 of those missions and received the Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters. On one of the missions the plane received severe flak damage over the target, and as they were returning to England, they were forced to crash land in Belgium. After being listed as missing in action for 7 days, the crew was able to make it back to their home base. John successfully completed the remainder of his missions until the war in Europe ended in 1945. Following the end of the war, John remained in the Air Force Reserves until he retired in 1963. Returning to civilian life after the war, John worked in a chemical lab of the E.I. DuPont Corp. for 22 years. In 1947 the family, now consisting of John, his wife Kay, son William and daughter Barbara, moved to Grand Island, New York. Grand Island is a large island in the Niagara River, between the cities of Niagara Falls and Buffalo. In 1950, his son, John Patrick was born. John left E.I. DuPomt to work for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. He remained with the union until his retirement in 1982. Soon after retiring, John and Kay moved to Diamond Bar, CA. After several years they moved to Hemet, CA., where John became active in the Genealogical Society. He also developed a passion for computers and at the age of 80, he was working on his Microsoft Certification at San Jacinto Junior College. John is preceded in death by his wife Kay and son John Patrick. He is survived by his son William (Bill) Harrison of Hemet, CA., daughter Barbara (Roger) Ressman of Spencerport, NY., daughter-in-law Elizabeth Harrison of Wildomar, CA.; 6 grandchildren: Jeffrey, Jennifer, Heather, Jason, Ian and Ross; and 3 great grandchildren Mackenzie, Matthew, and Jessyca; niece Doreen Ingram; and nephews Malcolm and David Griffith. Graveside services for John Harrison will be held Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 1:45 p.m., at Riverside National Cemetery in Staging area #4. A memorial gathering will be held at the Colonial Country Club Clubhouse, 601 N. Kirby St., Hemet, CA from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Entrusted to the care of McWane Family Funeral Home

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Published in Press-Enterprise on Oct. 7, 2012
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