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James L. Harris - Hillsboro, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 32° 01.297 W 097° 07.394
14S E 677242 N 3544372
Quick Description: Second Lieutenant James L. Harris was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on April 23, 1945, six months after he was killed in action in World War II. A native of Hillsboro, TX, he is buried there in section 30 of Ridge Park Cemetery.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 10/3/2013 6:46:26 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ6VM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 4

Long Description:
A Texas Historical Marker was unveiled to Mr. Harris on September 26, 2013, in front of Hillsboro's Old Historic City Hall, attended by sixty to seventy people. The marker was researched and requested by a local school class on leadership, as they wanted to better honor one of Hillsboro's famous sons. A copy of the program is in the gallery, and the marker tells the story:

James Lindell Harris was born on June 27, 1916 to Albert Lee and Bessie Harris at the family farm near Hillsboro. He entered the Army on March 20, 1941 and trained at Fort Sam Houston with the Armored Division. Harris was assigned to the 756th Tank Battalion and led his unit through North Africa and Europe. In Vagney, France, Harris and his men encountered German troops. Although mortally wounded he continued to lead his men until Allied tanks arrived, and refused medical attention until a member of his crew had been carried to safety. In recognition of his bravery, Harris was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Harris is buried in Park Ridge Cemetery in Hillsboro. (2012)

There is also a Wikipedia article on Mr. Harris, (visit link) and his Medal of Honor citation is here. (visit link) It reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 October 1944, in Vagney, France. At 9 p.m. an enemy raiding party, comprising a tank and 2 platoons of infantry, infiltrated through the lines under cover of mist and darkness and attacked an infantry battalion command post with hand grenades, retiring a short distance to an ambush position on hearing the approach of the M-4 tank commanded by 2d Lt. Harris. Realizing the need for bold aggressive action, 2d Lt. Harris ordered his tank to halt while he proceeded on foot, fully 10 yards ahead of his 6-man patrol and armed only with a service pistol, to probe the darkness for the enemy. Although struck down and mortally wounded by machinegun bullets which penetrated his solar plexus, he crawled back to his tank, leaving a trail of blood behind him, and, too weak to climb inside it, issued fire orders while lying on the road between the 2 contending armored vehicles. Although the tank which he commanded was destroyed in the course of the fire fight, he stood the enemy off until friendly tanks, preparing to come to his aid, caused the enemy to withdraw and thereby lose an opportunity to kill or capture the entire battalion command personnel. Suffering a second wound, which severed his leg at the hip, in the course of this tank duel, 2d Lt. Harris refused aid until after a wounded member of his crew had been carried to safety. He died before he could be given medical attention.
Armed Service: Army

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