Charles Bruin Harrison, born on May 28, 1921, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, was the son of David and Clara, aged 34 and 37. Growing up with his two brothers, David and Leonard, the family lived in Rye, NY, where Charles attended Rye High School.
Date of Birth: May 28, 1921
Died On: May 27, 1943
Service Number: O-664302
Branch of Service: U.S. Army Air Corps
During World War II, Charles enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and held the rank of Second Lieutenant with the service number O-664302. He was assigned to the 94th Bomber Group, Heavy, 410th Bomber Squadron. Tragically, while serving in France on May 29, 1943, Charles was part of the crew aboard the B-17 #42-29476 “Snafu” when it was shot down and crashed near Dinard. Only one person survived the incident.
Charles Harrison, serving as a navigator, and his crew were on a mission to target a German naval storage at Rennes. Alongside 72 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress’s of the 94th, 95th, and 96th Bomber Group, they were escorted by P-47 Thunderbolts and Spitfires until reaching the French coast. However, upon entering enemy territory, they encountered Luftwaffe fighters, resulting in the fatal attack on their aircraft.
Tragically, at the age of 21, Charles Harrison lost his life in the crash near Grands Beziers, Les Champs-Geraux, 15 miles South of St Mako, France. In recognition of his service, he was posthumously awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
Following his death, Charles B. Harrison’s remains were repatriated to the United States, and he was laid to rest at Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York. This cemetery is a National American Cemetery under the administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs.