Harris, Samuel C, Jr., Cpl

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Corporal
Last Service Branch
Engineer Corps
Last Primary MOS
3729-Pioneer
Last MOS Group
Engineer Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1950-2009, 3729, POW/MIA
Service Years
1947 - 1950

Corporal


One Service Stripe



One Overseas Service Bar


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Tennessee
Tennessee
Year of Birth
1929
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Harris, Samuel C, Jr., Cpl.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Rogersville, TN

Casualty Date
Nov 27, 1950
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Captured
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Korea, North
Conflict
Korean War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Unit Assignments
65th Engineer BattalionPOW/MIA
  1950-1950, 3729, 65th Engineer Battalion/C Company
  1950-2009, 3729, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)/Battle of Pusan Perimeter
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Remains of long-lost ET soldier found
Rogersville man will be buried at Arlington Cemetery
By Michael Collins (Contact)
Saturday, April 4, 2009
 
 
WASHINGTON - For decades, no one knew for sure what had happened to Army Cpl. Samuel C. Harris Jr.
The kind and gentle soldier from East Tennessee had been stationed in Guam for a couple of years and was on the verge of ending his tour of duty when the Korean War broke out.
Instead of heading home, Harris went off to war, and after a brutal battle in North Korea in November 1950, the young soldier was declared missing in action.
Much of the mystery behind his disappearance was finally solved Friday when the U.S. Department of Defense disclosed that human remains found nine years ago in North Korea have been positively identified as those of Harris and three other soldiers in his company.
Next Friday, more than a half-century after he had been set to return to his homeland, the Rogersville native will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery just outside of Washington.
"We feel like our hero is home," said his sister, Anne Harris of Austin, Texas.
Another sister, Ruth Harris Griswold of Marietta, Ga., said Harris' disappearance left a shadow of grief that had hung over his family for years.
"It's a living hell," she said. "You don't ever forget them."
Pentagon officials said the remains of Harris and the other soldiers were found on a site overlooking the Kuryong River in P'yongan-Pukto Province, where U.S. soldiers were believed to be buried.
Harris and the missing soldiers had been assigned to Company C, 65th Combat Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. The company came under intense enemy attack when it was occupying a position on a hill south of the Kuryong River, just east of what is known as Camel's Head Bend, on Nov. 25, 1950.
Two days later, Harris and the other men were reported missing in action.
A joint team of officials from the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea recovered the human remains and non-biological evidence in 2000.
Military scientists used DNA samples and dental comparisons to make a positive identification and were able to complete their work last September, said Larry Greer, a spokesman for the Pentagon's POW/Missing Personnel Office.
In Harris' case, a gold crown on the back of a broken front tooth helped to positively identify his remains, Greer said.
Griswold got word of the discovery last December, and when military officials showed her the photographic evidence a month later, she knew for certain her brother had been found.
"The tooth was his," she said. "How many teeth are you going to see like that?"
Harris was the second of six children born to Samuel Carson Harris Sr. and Maude Bates Harris of Rogersville. His siblings remember him as a friendly, gentle soul who experienced personal hardship at a very young age.
When he was a toddler, Harris fell and hit his head on a metal bucket. Doctors inserted a steel plate in his head, but he was paralyzed for years. One day, when he was still a boy, the paralysis miraculously lifted.
Just 21 when he died, Harris loved engineering and the Army and planned to make it his career, Griswold said. His parents got word of his death around Christmastime, but kept the news from his two youngest siblings because they didn't want to ruin their holidays.
It seemed somehow fitting, then, when Griswold learned just before last Christmas that her brother's remains had been found. "That was my best Christmas present of all time," she said.
Harris' other surviving siblings are Doris Feathers of Piney Flats and Joe Harris of Bristol.
 
   
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